By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
BLANCHARD, Okla. -- The greatest generation helped defeat Fascism and Nazism, and they left behind a lasting impression on the people they liberated in Europe.
A Blanchard man learned of this lasting impression when he received an unexpected token from his brother's life.
"He went through North Africa, through Sicily, and got killed in Italy," World War II veteran Loren Holder said.
That's all Loren knows about how his older brother Hershel died in World War II. He has never gotten over his death.
"He told me, ‘Loren, I wish you'd write to me.' But I wrote to him every day. But I guess the mail just didn't catch up with him," Loren said.
The passage of six decades has eased the pain of his brother's death. But then, quite recently, Loren received a reminder of Hershel through a memento that came in the mail.
What arrived was his brother's dog tag-- sent by a woman in Italy. The letter attached said:
"My name is Marica Mascora. My grandmother in the second world war found Mr. Holder's WWII dog tag."
It took the woman seven years and several letters to track Loren Holder down. It was her family's way of thanking American soldiers like Hershel Holder.
"The army saved their lives. They was hiding out, I think, in the caves up in the mountains, where I guess he lost his dog tag," Loren said. "That was about where they were fighting, but she said they would divide their food with these people that were hiding out in these caves."
Now, Loren feels a debt of gratitude to someone he has never met. It's given Loren Holder a new way to hold on to his brother's life
"Her kindness and goodness, you know, she wouldn't have had to do all that. But she just went out of her way, you know, to see that we got these dog tags," Loren said.