88-Year-Old World War II Veteran Reunited With Fraternity Pin After 70 Years

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Anything that involves World War II veterans is almost always incredibly badass and patriotic. Those men are part of our country’s Greatest Generation, after all. Throw in a man who was recently reunited with his fraternity pin after thinking he lost it during the war and you have one hell of a story.

Bob Ragan is an 88-year-old Beta Theta Pi and U.S. Army Air Corps veteran. He joined Beta at Wabash College in Crawfordville, Ind., and while stationed at Luke Field toward the end of World War II, Ragan unfortunately lost his fraternity pin in the barracks on base. Assuming he’d never find one of his most prized mementos from his fraternity days, he moved on and eventually graduated college in 1949 after the war ended.

Unbeknownst to Ragan, after he was transferred to a different base in 1945, another Army Air Corps member was assigned the janitorial duties at Luke Field. While cleaning the barracks one day, Virgil Walenta found what he believed was a military pin and held onto it for safekeeping. Years later, while moving her uncle, Walenta’s niece came across the pin and discovered Ragan’s name engraved into the back of it. She contacted the Beta Theta Pi national office after identifying the mystery pin.

After he spoke to Walenta’s niece, someone from Beta’s national office passed along the information to Ragan’s second cousin, who is an active alumnus. He immediately called Ragan and informed him of the find.

Ragan couldn’t believe his luck.

From the Murray Ledger & Times:

He called me up one day and he said, “Bob, this person in Texas found your Beta pin!” I was just so surprised, I couldn’t believe it. It was out of this world.

After thinking it was gone for nearly 70 years, Bob Ragan was once again in possession of his treasured pin.

I could not even begin to imagine how I would react if I was in his situation. Anyone who values his fraternity and the symbolism behind his pin knows how special it is. To be reunited after 70 years must be an incredible feeling.

Congrats, Bob. Thanks for being one hell of an American.

[via Murray Ledger & Times]

Image via HAWKINS TEAGUE / Ledger & Times

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