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French soldier renovating home finds NH veteran's wallet, returns it 65 years later

Union Leader Correspondent

August 16. 2018 1:02PM
Robert Sherman McCusker's wallet (center) containing a photo of his wife and documents from the Korean War has brought back a lot of good memories for his children. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

Sharon McCusker Moore and her brother, Steve McCusker, hold up some of the items included in a package sent to them from a French soldier who saved their father's wallet from certain loss. (Courtesy)

DOVER — Sharon McCusker Moore says a French soldier renovating a home in Chatellerault, France, recently came upon her father’s long-lost wallet containing Korean War documents and a photo of her mother and saved it from being disposed of forever.

In June, Patrick Caubet stopped by a building he was having renovated as construction workers demolished a closet in a back room of the basement and found the belongings of Robert Sherman McCusker, which they threw into a pile of rubble.

Caubet told Moore he recovered the wallet because he knew it belonged to a soldier, and as a soldier himself he wanted to see it returned home. Neighbors of the building Caubet is renovating told him it once housed a non-commissioned officers’ club for U.S. soldiers.

Caubet tried to find McCusker’s relatives through the U.S. Embassy and the Pentagon, Moore said. Eventually, he enlisted the help of fellow French soldier Victoria Shlk, who located Moore through her mother’s 2014 obituary.

Shlk used Facebook to contact Moore, and when the Dover resident saw photos of her mother, Jean, and aunt Sandra MacLeod, she decided to call her brother, Steve McCusker.

"I called my brother and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’" Moore said.

Moore’s brother told her their father’s duffle bag had been stolen at one point. Sharon arranged for the wallet to be sent to them, and last week they opened the package from Caubet and his wife.

Moore’s husband captured video of the siblings opening the 65-year-old wallet. Steve McCusker pulled out an old paper driver’s license, field rations permits from the Korean War, a Social Security card, a photo of his mother when she was 23-years-old and a picture of his aunt Sandy.

“Dad, this is unbelievable,” Steve McCusker said after laying out the contents of his father’s wallet on Moore’s kitchen island.

Moore said being able to touch something her father used every day was “amazing.” Robert McCusker died just before her 20th birthday.

Moore plans to send Caubet a New Hampshire thank you package with maple syrup from her backyard in Dover, New England Patriots jerseys for his kids, saltwater taffy and Fluff for peanut butter sandwiches.

Moore and her brother also hope to visit Caubet in France one day.

“It’s so nice to see the kindness in people,” Moore said. “I want to shake his hand.”

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