A veteran named Paul Grisham finally got his wallet back after losing it 53 years ago while serving in Antarctica.
“Grisham, 91, of San Diego, California, arrived in Antarctica in October 1967 as a Navy meteorologist. At some point during his 13-month assignment, he lost his wallet and eventually forgot about it — until last week,” Fox News reported on February 6.
The veteran received his wallet back through the mail.
“I was just blown away,” he said, adding, “There was a long series of people involved who tracked me down and ran me to ground.”
Grisham’s wallet was not empty, but held several mementos from his time on the Antarctic continent, including his Navy ID and driver’s license.
During some demolition at Grisham’s former base, a man found two missing wallets and shipped them to friends in New Hampshire, according to NBC Boston.
Those friends called on veteran Bruce McKee in Indiana for help.
“I just decided if I can help someone find their stuff, I’m going to do it,” said McKee, who founded Indiana Spirit of ’45, an organization that reunites veterans with their lost belongings.
After days of internet searches and phone calls, McKee finally got a call back from Grisham.
“First thing I replied back was, ‘Mr. Grisham did you lose a wallet in an Antarctica?’ And he burst out laughing and he said, ‘I had forgot about that,'” he recalled.
Grisham’s granddaughter, Christina Salazar, was in awe when she saw the billfold and said she always enjoyed her grandfather’s stories about his service in the Navy.
“Growing up, it was always my favorite to listen to him talk about the Emperor penguins that he would encounter,” Salazar commented.
Although there was no money in his old wallet, Grisham said the memories it brought back are priceless.
“Well, it’s kind of fun, really,” he noted. “I’m enjoying it.”
In addition to being contacted by reporters from all over the world, the veteran also received phone calls from two men he served with in Antarctica and has not spoken to since that time.
Grisham described those conversations as the “icing on the cake.”