- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - An old prisoner-of-war bracelet recovered near Corinth last week will be reunited with the family of an Air Force serviceman who was declared missing in action in 1972.

The Daily Corinthian reports (http://bit.ly/2aBXM4x ) that Nita Wilkinson, the widow of Capt. Dennis Wilkinson, was thrilled to learn that Bobby McDaniel found her family’s 40-year-old bracelet buried underground while he was using a metal detector.

Friends of Wilkinson’s children saw the newspaper’s report on McDaniel’s discovery and shared it with her family through Facebook.

“It made everyone’s day,” said Wilkinson, who contacted McDaniel last Friday.

A plane flown by Dennis Willkinson and Capt. Jeffrey L. Harris crashed during a 1972 offensive meant to keep weapons out of North Vietnam.

Wilkinson’s remains were returned in 1978, after U.S. Rep. Gillespie “Sonny” Montgomery of Mississippi led a delegation to Hanoi to determine whether any American POWs remained in Vietnam.

The bracelet bears Dennis Wilkinson’s name and the date that he was reported missing.

“One way or the other, I was going to find a family member,” McDaniel said. “When she called, I almost started crying, and I am not a crier.”

Dennis and Nita Wilkinson met in his hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida, and both attended the University of Florida.

“He was my best friend,” she said.

A California student group called Voices in Vital America created the POW bracelets, which were popular in the 1970s.

“We all had one with Dennis’ name on it,” said Wilkinson, who lives in Shalimar, Florida.

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Information from: The Daily Corinthian.

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