Son discovers family keepsake lost during WWII

Posted at 10:09 PM, Nov 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-12 00:09:33-05

In a town where Liberty lives in the name, resides a family that has lived for its meaning.

"I served in ‘71-‘74 in the army, ‘71-72 in Vietnam,” said Gary Hennessy. “My father served, from what I recall of it, in 1945."

In Hennessy’s home, there is a long history of service, which he is just starting to piece together today.

“He really didn't say much about it,” Hennessy said of his father. “He mentioned that he was wounded twice, once in the back and once in the tailbone.

The Vietnam veteran didn’t know much about the World War II veteran he grew up with, that is until he started looking into his past through the eyes of a man who was there for part of it.

“I was on the USS New Mexico,” said Roscoe Clausse.

The WWII veteran has a box full of memories from his time overseas, including one of Ronald Hennessy he hadn`t unpacked until now.

“I forgot I had it until that time,” Clausse said.

While docked in Australia, Hennessy gave Clausse a family keepsake as collateral for some money he had borrowed.

“I guess he went down to his locker and got this bracelet,” Clausse said. “And he brought it up to me and told me to keep it until he pays me the money again.”

The bracelet was a gift from Gary`s mother that he never knew existed.

“It says god bless you and keep you my dear,” Hennessy said, reading from an inscription on the back.

The bracelet shows Ronald Hennessy’s name on the front and his wife’s, Shirley Hennessy, on the back.

“I was just awestruck. It was so emotional,” Hennessy said. “And to think where the bracelet has been and is finally coming home.”

Decades later, a world away from the war where it was lost, a piece of one veteran is now with another, living in Liberty.

“It was quite touching and just a welcomed sight -- knowing that I had something from my father and that he received it from my mother,” Hennessy said.