A couple renovating their Detroit home unearthed a trove of mementos detailing the life -- and romances -- of a WWII soldier.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Hubert Sawyers III and Eliza Sorise-Sawyers found military discharge papers, old photos, and handwritten letters inside a heating duct in their basement.
One read, "My dearest Stan, Sweetheart it was hard to see you go this morning, knowing that it may the last time I shall see you for a time," WDIV reported.
The letters turned out to belong to Stanley Gargas, who drove an ambulance during his service in 1944 and 1945.
Gargas apparently led a colorful life in those years. Sawyers said many of Gargas' letters came from a woman named Violet, while others appeared to be written by another woman in Britain named Pat. In photos, he poses with various women on the beach. Other photos depict daily life back home in the U.S.
When Gargas returned from duty, he worked for the city of Detroit and married Sadie Gargas, according to neighbors. Together they lived in the home that now belongs to the Sawyers, who used the Internet to contact Gargas' nephew to confirm his identity.
"There's this sense of honoring the people who lived here before us," Sorise-Sawyers told the Associated Press. "If someone had found a package of things belonging to my grandmother, I'd hope they'd look for me."
The Detroit Free Press contacted Sadie Gargas' sister, now 83, who said the adventurous couple frequently travelled and had no children. The veteran's death in 2004 caused his wife to move to a nursing home, where she currently lives with Alzheimer's disease.
A museum in Eastpointe, Mich., may add some of the photos to their archives, Sawyers told WDIV.
"When we saw this we were hoping it would be a bag of bonds or bag of money," Sawyers said. "But honestly it was just really cool."
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