A story that began around this time 78 years ago on an airbase in central Nebraska came to a happy conclusion when three people embraced in Oriskany Falls last week.
Sisters Val (Potter) Gwin and Lisa (Potter) Atchison traveling last week from their homes in Kearney, hugged Doug Sinclair of Oriskany Falls at the end of their dynamic talk to the Limestone Ridge Historical Society. “I cannot tell you how happy this has made me,’’ Sinclair told the women.
The PowerPoint presentation by the Nebraska women - with help from Lisa’s daughter and her wife - outlined the unlikely story of a dog tag found in December 2019 by Val’s son, Will Gwin. Will, who learned surveying while a U.S. Marine, was surveying property that once housed the 4.5-mile airbase in Kearney (pronounced Carney.)
He noticed a glint of something on the ground reflecting sunlight. He picked up a dog tag in perfect condition, allowing him to read the info stamped on it.
The tag read Ralph E. Rigaud, 324 938 22, T-43, Mrs. Agnes Rigaud, 154 Madison Ave., Oriskany Falls, N.Y. The other side contained an A for Ralph’s blood type and P for his religious preference.
After Will gave the tag to his mom, the two sisters set out on a mission to find Ralph or a relative to receive the dog tag. As the women explained to a full masked up crowd at the…