HONOR A SOLDIER TODAY, TOMORROW, AND EVERYDAY.
I consider every day--an adventure. And, as you know, I don't believe in coincidences.
It happened in 2002. I was glancing around a small antique store near Alexandria, Virginia, when I found an interesting bracelet stuffed in a jar of old costume jewelry. Noting my interest in the bracelet, the store’s owner said he was selling the jar and its contents for five dollars.
There was nothing costume or fake about the bracelet marked "Sterling". Concerned that a military soldier's ID Bracelet was no longer with its owner.....I bought the jar in order to save David B. Mercer’s Military Bracelet.
I spent days searching the internet for David B Mercer... the name engraved on the bracelet… and found nothing. The word "Infantry" with a list of numbers—apparently David’s serial number--- also appeared under David’s name so I added that information too and still…nothing.
Perhaps…like me…David had no family, no one to claim his personal effects or preserve his precious memories. Every time I wore David’s bracelet I wondered: Could David be alive or....like so many soldiers…. was David missing-in-action and buried far-away on foreign soil? Is it possible that David "outlived" his family and died all-alone?
On Memorial Day Weekend in 2017, I decided to post both my David Mercer story and a photo of his bracelet on Facebook. I prayed that someone might recognize his name and end my mystery. Several days later, a Facebook Friend solved the dilemma. Here’s the update:
“DAVID BERYL MERCER, OWNER of the bracelet I've worn for almost 12 years, has been found....thanks to my FB Friend, Cara Crosby Carroll! How fitting that the happy ending to my post happened on Memorial Day Weekend. David served during WWII and received the Purple Heart. I consider it an incredible honor to, at last, know something about the soldier whose bracelet I've worn endless times, including today.
David Mercer never married, never had a family of his own.....so you might say----we both knew about being alone. Cara found the phone number of his great-nephew-- his only survivor—but, sadly, the number had been disconnected. After more research, we found the great nephew’s obituary."
Finally, after a lengthy search, I found David B. Mercer’s gravesite. I’ll always wonder how his military bracelet ended-up in a jar with costume jewelry but, most importantly, it now has a home with me.