This is something that happens once in a lifetime...if you're lucky. In 1969, John Nordgaard from North Dakota was about to get his ticket OUT of Vietnam. He was an amazing athlete for the North Dakota State College of Science, and later on at the University of Minnesota - Morris. John was signed to play football with the Atlanta Falcons.  As long as he didn't get cut from the Falcons, he didn't have to go.

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As luck would have it; he did indeed, get cut from the team. According to an article, Norm Van Brocklin called John into his office and gave him the news. He then asked John what he was going to do next. John's response was, "I guess I'm going to Vietnam." That he did.

Photo by Kemal Berkay Dogan on Unsplash
Photo by Kemal Berkay Dogan on Unsplash

John served as a combat medic. John received multiple awards and some of the highest awards you can receive from the military, for his heroism while at war.

John knew that he had put his medals in a cardboard box, but it sounds like he really didn't remember what happened to it after that.

Pete Lundbord from Michigan served in the infantry during the Vietnam War. Pete did NOT know John. Lundborg worked as a mail clerk for just a short while, and as his unit was preparing to go home, he doesn't know if his Sargeant told him to grab the box of medals, or if his Sargeant told him to grab it and mail it back to the soldier.

The box sort of got caught up in leaving the Vietnam War, and ended up sitting in Pete's parent's house, then somehow made it to his home.

To find the owner prior to the internet seemed impossible. But then, after many unsuccessful attempts by Pete, His son decided to do an internet search, and thought that he might have located John's daughter; indeed he did. The problem was that it went into her SPAM folder for four years!

The good news is that eventually, John's daughter DID see the email and responded that John was her Dad. The rest is history. 52 years later, the mystery had been solved for both parties.

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