Veteran has graduation ring returned after 40 years

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POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 9:13am

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 3:05pm

It was pawned more than four decades ago during the Vietnam War and now a Japanese family is returning the 1968 class ring to the family of the man who once wore it, Na'Tassia Finley has more on the return of the ring.

It was lost over 40 years ago, something he thought he'd never get back, "When I was there I pawned my graduation ring." Daniel Gomez, a graduate of Brownsville high school enlisted back in 1969 and headed off to the Vietnam war, but like so many other servicemen, Gomez pawned jewelry to get him some quick cash to hold him over until payday.

"After a few days when I went back for it, turns out they had given the ring to someone else, so that was the last time I saw the graduation ring."

That was it, the ring was gone and the guilt set in, "Back then not very many people could afford the rings. My mother and sister sacrificed to buy me that ring and it meant a lot to me and I felt really bad and ashamed that I had pawned it."

Decades passed. but the ring was never forgotten, by Gomez, or this woman, a Taiwan native, Sing Ling Tao, now living in Pennsylvania. "Her parents had had the ring in their jewelry shop since the early 70's and they had not sold it or done anything with it cause they wanted to return it back to it's owner."

You see the ring, that was bought from the pawn shop in Okinawa was then pawned again, 455 miles away in Taiwan. Before they died, her parents asked Sing Ling to find the American soldier who once wore the ring, all she had to go off of was the initials DGG, 1968, Brownsville High School and an eagle.

With a little research on her part and coordinating from B.I.S.D. officials, Daniel G. Gomez was reunited with his ring, about a month ago.

The Vietnam vet says he was amazed at the dedication Sing Ling took to track him down to return the ring, Gomez says he already has plans for the ring.

"I'm sure going to wear it for our next high school reunion."

Gomez says he and Sing Ling have spoken several times and the two families have become friends.

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