A Brotherhood of Veterans Reunites a Doughboy’s Family with a Treasured Keepsake

Published: 27 October 2022

By Jillyan Mobley
via The Watauga Democrat newspaper (NC) web site

Dewy Rominger’s 1936 American Legion Post 130 membership card tucked in his New Testament was the key in getting his belongings back to Boone. Photo by Jillyan Mobley

BOONE, NC — Discovered in a shop in Oregon, a worn New Testament in a shotgun ammo pouch found its way back to the hands of the original owner’s family through a chain of determined veterans.

James Greggory, a retired Marine residing in South Carolina, has made friends across the country participating in motorcycle rides to raise money and awareness for issues relating to military and veteran personnel. One of his friends, veteran Don Pierce of Oregon, found a New Testament and ammo pouch at a second hand-store with an American Legion Membership Card from Post 130, which indicated the owner lived in Boone — at least at some point time. Pierce, a “deeply religious” man, was determined to get the belongings back to its home.

Pierce reached out to his friend Greggory, knowing he lived in South Carolina, asking him to find a way to return it to American Legion Post 130. Greggory said that “people out west think the Carolinas are one thing,” and though he lived a state away, he agreed to help because being a veteran is “like a being part of a family.”

“When (Don) found that Bible — most of us, honestly are Christian or religious in some way, war has tendency to make you a believer — and we just said, ‘we got to try to find this guy,’” Greggory said.

Greggory brought the package home after meeting with Pierce at Run for the Wall in Washington, D.C. in May and planned to meet with his cousin, Ken Shanley, in Blowing Rock. Shanley is a retired veteran who flew helicopters in the Vietnam War.

The pair contacted the National Headquarters Division of American Legion after having no luck in reaching someone at Post 130. The headquarters then emailed Post 130’s admin, Larry Osborn, who gladly took on the challenge of tracing the card back to its rightful owner.

Osborn, a retired Air Force veteran, said he used his experience in genealogy research and the limited information on the card to begin his search.

The American Legion card found in the New Testament was for a 1936 membership belonging to Dewey Admiral Rominger. Through conducting his research, Osborn said he discovered that Rominger was born in 1898 and served in the 83rd Artillery Army in World War I.

Read the entire article on the Watauga Democrat web site.

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