My job on ebay is part writer, part photographer, part researcher, well let’s just say it has many parts. Recently, a local resident dropped off some memorabilia from her late uncle’s estate. He was in the United States Army during the World War II period in US history. She was unclear what the monetary value of the items was, although the sentimental value was far too high to quantify. She and her husband have been cleaning out her late relative’s estate, and these items were next to go. A common situation with a lot of my ebay customers locally here in Rhode Island. I accepted the items and the challenge to find out what they might be worth.
In the collection she dropped off were a number of pins and badges and other insignia. There are a number of great websites that have these items listed, with the details I was looking for. At this point, I put the monetary value on the back burner. Instead, I became more interested in the story behind what the pins represented. He was in the United States Army. He was a distinguished marksman in landmines or mines. He was an infantryman. Fascinating stuff to say the least. The pins do have value. They tell the story of a man, what his specialty was, what troop he was representing our country in, and then some. His dog tag, not pictured, furthered the story and this research project was just about complete.
Another set of items this customer dropped off were even more interesting. Photographs taken of then President Franklin D Roosevelt and then Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The photographs were taken at the Atlantic Charter conference, which took place in 1941 in Newfoundland. Coincidentally, the customer’s uncle was stationed in Newfoundland at the time. There are several historical photographs including FDR and Churchill sitting and sharing a moment, scenes from aboard the HMS Prince of Wales, as well as general photos of US service men of that era. These photographs are just another piece of a puzzle, a puzzle that will help complete the story of a US Army serviceman I never met.
Lastly, the customer dropped off a scrapbook of letters, greeting cards, and holiday wishes. From one sweetheart, serving abroad, to his sweetheart wife, serving at home. These letters and cards depict a soldier’s kindness and longing to be home and patriotism. Although they are not for sale, these cards and letters complete the man who served our country with honor and dignity. Just another day at the office for me selling on ebay? Not quite, this was a very special day indeed. And to that serviceman’s family, thank you for your service to our country.