Former Navy Sailor Reunited With ID Tag After Nearly 20 Years

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-05 10:24:26-04

GRANT, Mich. (June 4, 2014) —  A U.S. Navy identification tag missing for nearly 20 years is now on the way to its rightful owner.

Alyssa Shinew in Grant said that she found it on Memorial Day while doing yard work and found out the sailor lived at the home back in the 1990s. “I’m raking all the grass clumps out of the section that was roll tilled, and I look down because something caught my eye, and I was, like, ‘What in the world? So, I bent over and I was, like, “Holy Hanna no way!'”

What Shinew found was a U.S. Navy ID tag belonging to Scott Barner, missing for almost 20 years.

“I really appreciate it. I think it’s a really neat thing she did,” said Scott Barner, who served 13 years with U.S. Navy. After serving in Iraq in 2005 as a member of the U.S. Navy Seabees, Barner left the military and moved back to his hometown of Mill Hall, Penn. In the mid 1990s, Barner lived with his wife Barbara at the house in Grant. Fast forward to 2014, when Shinew decided to do some yard work.

“Just the crazy part, that Memorial Day, what it symbolizes and the fact that I found it on Memorial Day,” said Shinew. “It just blows my mind.”

Shinew made it her mission to track Barner down. She found him on Facebook.

“It feels really good,” Barner told FOX 17 over the phone from Pennsylvania. “I mean, I’m glad there’s people out there that would do that.”

Shinew dropped the tag off to Barner’s father-in-law’s, who lives up the street from her so his relative could mail it to Pennsylvania.

“I was shocked,” said Barner’s father in law, Dale Faurot. “It’s just so amazing to me that it comes back after this long of time, but it’s great to know. He’ll be glad to have it back.”

An an ID tag is an important memory for anyone who has served, said Faurot, who also served in the armed forces. “Part of his past history coming back. Kind of remind him of some of the things that he went through. I know I would and I’m sure he will too.”

Returning the tag that was lost for almost two decades is also important to Shinew, because of her own family that has served. “I was just so excited to return it to him. My grandpa is a veteran. My brother is in the Army right now, and I know how much that dog tag represents and how much of a memory, whether good or bad, how much it means to them.”

Shinew also said that she still needs to finish planting in the dirt, after getting side-tracked with the discovery.

Faurot said that he plans to send the tag in the mail within the next couple days.