Heirloom Returned To War Hero's Family
The widow and son of a Vietnam War hero were presented with a relic of the past today.
The officer's desk set belonged to Larry Dring, who was a Special Forces captain with five purple hearts.
The wooden piece was dilapidated and in storage for years, but has been restored to pristine condition.
"Well thank you so much, this is just beautiful," says Becky Gould, who lives in Mars Hill. "And I'm going to give it to my son, because it's his father's namesake and he's in the military serving as well. I know his father would have been very proud of him."
"Just speechless," says Larry Dring III. "I mean there's a special bond between service members."
Madelyn Meyer of Brevard says an acquaintance gave that desk set to her in the 80's. Because of the condition of the piece, she had no idea who it belonged too, but kept it anyway. Letters were missing, which made the task seemingly impossible.
"And I kept thinking someday somewhere, somebody will be able to fix it and we'll realize the importance of it," Meyer said.
She eventually showed it to Howard "Sarge" Thiele of Brevard, who thought it was a jigsaw puzzle worth well solving.
"It just needs to be at home with the family," says Thiele, who says he saw the light one day. "I was cleaning the garage, some lights shined across the item and I could see where the last name was just by phantom images of the wood. Then I had something to work with."
Sarge went to work and restored the piece. Surprised to find out that Dring's widow was right here in the mountains.
Mike Dirocco of Brevard served with Dring in Vietnam and describes him as "courageous and compassionate."
Larry Dring II died on July 25th, 31 years ago, yet his story of service, lives on. The piece that bears his name, wasn't restored in vain.
"I'm just glad it is now going home," says Meyer.