BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A 97-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Bismarck has been reunited with a dog tag he lost in Papua New Guinea while serving in World War II.
A stranger found Ed Boger's dirty, rusted dog tag about five years ago while digging a hole for a school flagpole in Lemieng, Papua New Guinea, The Bismarck Tribune reported. Kenneth Muo knew that only American soldiers wore dog tags and, armed with information on the tag including Boger's hometown and mother's name, he determined to return it to its rightful owner.
Boger was deployed on his 21st birthday in October 1942. He fought with the 112th Calvary Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard and spent more than three years in the Pacific. He was discharged from the military after the war ended in 1945.
"We were scheduled to go into New Guinea when the (Japanese) started taking over the schools ... they were after the schools, and I was in what we call a regimental combat team and it was scheduled to go over there to stop (them)," Boger said.
Muo posted his find on World War II Facebook groups. Some years passed before a National Guard member in Wisconsin saw one of the posts, found the obituary of Ed Boger's brother and reached out to Ed's son, Charles Boger.
Boger surprised his dad when the old dog tag arrived by mail in June.
"He got all choked up and emotional about it," Charles Boger said.
Ed Boger said he doesn't even remember losing the tag.
"I was happy they found it," he said, adding: "I was surprised because I had never seen it from the time I lost it and they found it."
Muo said he was surprised that Ed Boger was still alive and he wrote a letter to accompany the tag, saying: "I am so proud of myself I was able to get this tag to you."
He said in his letter that the area where he found the tag used to be an old U.S. Army base that has become overgrown by jungle. Aircraft guns and old fighter planes remain in the area.
"I thought I would find some skeletons around that place because there were many bullet shells, mostly .50-calibre shells," Muo said. He found the tag about 50 yards (45 meters) from the base.