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WORCESTER, MASS. — A Massachusetts man who lost his dog tag as he stormed ashore at Anzio during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1944 has it in his hands again, 70 years later.
World War II veteran Alfred Cabral, 88, received the weathered scrap of copper-nickel alloy during an emotional ceremony at a Worcester nursing home on Saturday.
Cabral's chin began to quaver and tears welled in his eyes as he prepared to receive his lost dog tag, The Telegram & Gazette reported.
He told the story of how he joined the Army at age 18 just days after graduating from high school in 1943.
"I'm very proud of it," said Cabral, a retired Hudson police chief. "I just wish I would have found the dog tag myself."
An Italian man walking on a beach near Anzio found Cabral's tag late last year. The man turned it over to a nearby cemetery where thousands of American GIs are buried.
Cabral's name, service number and an address in Hudson are easily legible on the tag despite some pitting and discoloration. He said he will wear it around his neck again as he did when a teenage private.
Cabral was discharged from the Army after injuring his foot when he stepped on a land mine in France, but returned home with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.