02/25/2013 02:17 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2013

Family Of Mike Drea, Vietnam Veteran Killed In Action, Gets Class Ring Back

More than 40 years after a family lost their son and brother in Vietnam, they have been reunited with his cherished class ring.

After his brother, Jerry, was killed in an explosion in Vietnam in 1970, Joe Sain received a box of belongings from the military, including a class ring that didn’t belong to Jerry, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. While Sain was determined to return the ring, no one with the initials “M.D.,” which were engraved on the ring, was listed among those who died in the explosion.

The initials didn’t match anyone’s listed of those killed because the ring belonged to Terrance Lee Drea, who went by “Mike," according to the paper.

After his mother fell ill, Sain was inspired to renew his search. In November, he contacted a number of Weston High Schools, which was also engraved on the ring, and finally found the one in Wisconsin that Terrance, AKA Mike Drea, attended. He recently connected with Mike’s sister, Mary, and flew out to return it to her.

While Drea’s family had to wait more than four decades to get the sentimental piece of jewelry back, other veterans have been surprised nearly double that amount of time when an important keepsake arrived on their doorsteps.

Back in January, William Kadar, 92, a World War II veteran who served in France, was finally reunited with his Army-issued duffel bag nearly seven decades after it went missing, the Associated Press reports.

A French teen found the bag in his grandfather’s home and sent it to the vet's home in Indiana. It still has Kadar’s name and serial number stenciled on it.

"It's given us a deeper understanding of what he and others went through," Kadar's granddaughter Amy Parsons, told the AP. "We don't have that perspective in the U.S. as much. (Kadar) always said, `It's a miracle I came home.'"



4 Decades Later, Family Gets Vietnam Vet's Lost Ring Back