Late veteran’s dog tags discovered on Wareham beach, returned to family

WAREHAM, Mass. — A man metal-detecting on Little Harbor Beach in Buzzards Bay made a discovery that absolutely floored one Onset family.

“When I heard him say I found his dog tag, I got goosebumps. It was just an amazing feeling. It was like a hello from grandpa,” Dan Minkle said.

Minkle was shocked by the phone call. Turns out, a stranger on a treasure hunt found his family’s ultimate treasure: his late grandfather’s long-lost military dog tag, missing from decades ago.

“He did frequent the beach a lot when he was a kid when he was alive, so clearly maybe fell out of his pocket, who knows. Just makes the mystery even...we don’t know,” Minkle said.

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Richard Porter served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He died three years ago at age 89.

Porter was a science teacher for more than 30 years, but he may be best known as the ‘Thermometer Man.’ He had the world’s largest collection of thermometers – more than 5,000 - that he housed in his museum in Onset. His collection was even featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“We laugh too because he was always trying to get himself in the media, in the paper to promote his museum, so it is like here he is getting his five minutes of fame again,” Minkle said.

He added that he plans to pass around the dog tag to other family members, then eventually keep it hanging inside his truck.

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