MULLINS, SC (WMBF) - On Wednesday morning, the South Carolina widow and family of a Korean War veteran was reunited with the watch he lost over 60 years ago in a game of dice, thanks to the efforts of a Wisconsin veteran and a veterans service office.
On Friday, January 9, 2014, Korea War veteran Don Kuhlman from Pardeeville, Wisconsin went to the Columbia County Veterans Service Office with a watch another soldier put up as collateral during a game of craps just before he was deployed to Korea. Kuhlman said he would like to finally return the watch to its owner, and wondered if the CVSO could assist with finding him, according to a news release from the CVSO.
He showed the CVSO the watch, which was engraved on the back with the name "M.L. Moore" and a serial number. They advised Kuhlman that this may be difficult, but that they would try.
After much research while Kuhlman waited, the CVSO was able to determine from the serial number that the watch once belonged to Moses L. Moore, and that Moore was enlisted from the New England area of the United States, according to the news release. A representative for the veterans office called Veterans Affairs and told them the story of the watch. The VA advised the CVSO that Moore had died in 1981 and left a widow at that time. He gave the name of his widow and her last known address in New York City.
The CVSO searched the internet and found a phone number associated with the widow's name and address; however, no one answered, the release states. After some additional research, the CVSO discovered two additional names associated with the widow that appeared to be daughters. One of the numbers belonged to a woman, Moore's daughter, who lives in South Carolina, and she had named her son after her father. She also confirmed that her mother was still alive but was currently in her hometown of Gresham, SC taking care of her ill sister. Moore was originally from this same area.
The CVSO told the daughter about the watch and the back story. She said the family would be thrilled to have the watch returned, if possible. Kuhlman wanted to fly out to South Carolina to personally return this watch to Mr. Moore's family, but unfortunately his health prevented him from making such a long trip.
The CVSO contacted the local veterans affairs office representative in South Carolina and advised her about the situation. Not only did she want to participate, but also revealed she was a cousin of Moore's daughter, and knew exactly where the widow was living with her sister in South Carolina, CVSO representatives stated.
Meristein Moore, the widow of Moses Moore, was presented with the watch at the Army National Guard Armory in Mullins on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. Mrs. Moore had no idea the watch existed, but was amazed and grateful someone took the time to track them down. Kuhlman was able to view the event as it took place in Mullins by utilizing a Skype connection.
"Those people, the guy who kept the watch all these years, he has a beautiful and wonderful family, to think enough to have returned it after all these years," said Meristein Moore. "It just makes me feel so happy."
Mrs. Moore was also presented with a copy of the book, "Korea Reborn" to commemorate her husband's participation in the Korean War with thanks from the government and businesses of South Korea for his sacrifices which guaranteed 60 years of progress and prosperity.