9-year-old to give WWII vet’s lost dog tags to family on Veterans Day

Military dog tagsA class history project turned into so much more for one Ohio boy, who plans on presenting the family of a World War II soldier with his dog tags on Veterans Day.

Lenny Aydemir, a 9-year-old from Medina, will present Jack B. Robbins’ family with his dog tags on Monday after spending several months tracking down the dog tags’ rightful owner.

Aydemir began researching the owner of the elusive dog tags after his uncle, who lives in France, gave them to the boy last July.

“I asked some questions about it like, ‘What was it and why am I having it?'” Aydemir recalled to local ABC affiliate WEWS-TV. “I thought it was really cool.”

Aydemir worked with Jackie Flannery, a Chicago historian with whom he found through a Google search, to find Robbins. Flannery told WEWS-TV that she had studied Robbins’ story for three years as part of an upcoming book she’s writing on pilots who flew in the U.S. Air Force’s 396th Fighter Squadron, also known as “Thunder Bums.”

“I was in disbelief. I just could not believe. We didn’t even know that he had lost his dog tags,” Flannery said.

Aydemir has spent the last two months working on a PowerPoint presentation of Robbins’ life, which will be part of Monday’s ceremony. Relatives of Robbins’ from Texas and Colorado will be flying in for the 2 p.m. ceremony, at which point he’ll officially hand over the tags.

“I think it’s going to be pretty neat and they’re going to like it and say and say thank you,” Aydemir said.

It’s expected to be an emotional event all around, according to Marcus Tucker, Robbins’ nephew. “It’s a treasure. It’s like jewelry. I still can’t believe those tags have been found,” he told WEWS-TV. 

Robbins, originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, was shot down over France in 1944 and spent 10 months in a German prison camp before escaping. He died in 1969 in a drowning accident while fishing. According to WEWS-TV, the tags were discovered in a Tinqueux field in either 1989 or 1990 by Vincent Granier, a friend of the Aydemir family. Granier was also unsuccessful at tracking down Robbins’ family, thus he gave them to Adyemir’s uncle, Christophe Zielinski.

Aydemir’s mother couldn’t be more proud of him for his hard work in finding Robbins’ family.

“When I speak, I’m just like so emotional because when you imagine that American people came to help France and now my son tried to do something to thank the family,” she told the station.

Watch WEWS-TV‘s interview of Aydemir below.

Comments

Polititainment

'SNL' laughs at North Korea, Sony hacks
“Saturday Night Live” hit on North Korea and the Sony hacks twice this weekend, proving that unlike most of Hollywood, they aren’t scared of Kim Jong-un. The show started off with a bang, bringing back Mike Myers as Dr. Evil to interrupt the cold open and discuss his anger over the North Korea and Sony hacker […]
RNC asks theaters to show 'The Interview
The Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of “The Interview” has gone fully political. President Obama made an official statement on this decision and now the Republican National Committee is weighing in. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus asks that movie theaters not bow down to North Korea and stand up to this decision by screening the film […]
Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

White House

Obama: I will do ‘everything I can’ to close Guantanamo Bay
President Obama may have signed the defense bill that keeps Guantanamo Bay open for another year, but he is still verbally promising to close down the facility. Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday and discussed closing Gitmo by the end of next year with host Candy Crowley. “I’m going to do everything […]
Obama: ‘We’re not going to be intimidated’ by Sony hackers
President Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning and covered a variety of topics ranging from racism to North Korea and the Sony hacks. Obama repeated his earlier statements about the hacks, implying again that Sony made the wrong call by canceling screenings of “The Interview.” “The Boston Marathon suffered an actual […]
Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]

Congress

Rubio, Paul feud continued on ABC's 'This Week'
Likely 2016 presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have been going after each other all week for statements made on President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba and the feud did not take a break over the weekend. The Florida senator, one of the most outspoken critics of the new Cuba policy, appeared on […]
Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!