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Off Beat Spotlight

Play Today's Military Trivia

Couple Discover Man's Bag of WWII Memories

stanley gargas papers

A Detroit couple said they discovered a bag containing photos and love letters belonging to a World War II veteran while remodeling their home.

Hubert Sawyers III and Eliza Sorise-Sawyers said the Topps bag was dislodged from atop a heating conduit in the basement of their North Rosedale Park home during the summer while a contractor was threading pipes in their kitchen, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.

Inside the bag, the couple discovered dozens of photos, love letters and other documents belonging to the home's previous occupant, World War II veteran Stanley Gargas.

The objects included letters from women he dated before marrying his wife, Sadie Gargas, and photos of him during his military career and his life in Detroit after returning to the United States. The bag also included Gargas' discharge papers from the military.

The couple said a nephew who retrieved the Gargas' belongings must have missed the bag, and Stanley Gargas may have wanted it that way.

"These were cherished memories, but he didn't want to flaunt it," Sawyers said.

Susan Cleva, 83, Gargas's sister-in-law, said the veteran died in 2004 and Sadie Gargas is living with Alzheimer's disease in a nursing home.

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