WWII bracelet returned to daughter

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
In 1999, Mark Byrd found a bracelet in a parking lot at Lake Travis Country Club in Austin, Texas. Sixteen years later, the bracelet finally made it home.

The silver bracelet was a military identification bracelet belonging to one Chaz K. Ober with a Department of Defense number engraved on the back.

When it was first found, Byrd had tried looking for its owner. When he had no luck, it was stuck on a shelf for nearly 14 years.

"It lingered for quite a while," he said.

Mark and his wife, Eileen Byrd, who works as the 116th Air Control Wing Airman and Family Readiness program manager, saw the bracelet again and decided to enlist the help of Tech. Sgt. Dominick Andrews with the 116th Security Forces Squadron.

Eileen Byrd was determined to get the bracelet back to its rightful owner.

"This is the epitome of a wingman," Mark Byrd said.

Andrews heard her plight and started digging. His search led him to Arlington National Cemetery where Charles "Chaz" K. Ober is buried. 

A breakthrough occurred when Andrews discovered the obituary of Ober's wife, Virginia Ober. On the write-up was the name of a daughter, Lani Czyzewski, and she lived near Tampa, Florida where Ober was from.

Andrews called the local police department to ask them to call her and tell her why he wanted to get in touch with her.

"I left work and when I got back in, the voice mail light was on. Sure enough, it was this women's voice," Andrews said.

Lani and her husband, Paul Czyzewski, were traveling to Indiana to meet a cousin whom Lani hadn't seen in 50 years. She found the cousin on the Internet.

And on the afternoon of Oct. 23, the Byrds and the Czyzewskis were able to meet for the first time in the Eagle Building at the Museum of Aviation.

"My father was a very proud Army Air Force man," Czyzewski told the Byrds.

No one knows how the bracelet ended up in Texas. Her father hadn't been there and 1999 was the year he died.

"It's one of those mysteries of life," she said.

Her father was a captain in the Army Air Corp and was stationed in France and Belgium during World War II.

While overseas, Ober wrote his wife and mother back in the states, nearly every day. Czyzewski still has all of the letters.

"We have hundreds and hundreds of letters," she said.

The one thing she didn't have was his military bracelet.

Thanks to the determination of the Byrds and Andrews, the heirloom is now where it belongs.

After Eileen Byrd gave Lani Czyzewski her father's bracelet, Lani fastened it on her right wrist.

"I'm just tingly all over ... I don't want to ever take it off," she said looking at her wrist.