(VIDEO BELOW ARTICLE)
It's an answered prayer more than 60 years in the making.
A war veteran from Mercer Island has reconnected with a precious heirloom thanks to a boy from a small town in Iowa.
During his three years in the South Pacific, Ted Mogil always kept his military-issue prayer book close to his heart, carrying it in his breast pocket. He says the book helped carry him through the brutalities of World War II.
"It was just a feeling of being home. It was something that was close," said Mogil, now a spry 85 years old. After the war, Mogil returned home to his native Nebraska where he married his wife, Etta, 64. The couple moved to California in 1948, but the book was lost and left behind. "I didn't know where it disappeared to," Mogil said.
The Marine's prayer book was MIA for 61 years - until last week, when the phone rang. Twelve-year-old Wil Beach from Harlan, Iowa was on the other end. Mogil thought it was a crank call at first, but then heard the boy’s excited shouts to his dad. "He turned to his father and said, ‘Dad, dad! This is the man!'" Mogil said.
The prayer book had ended up in a pile of books the Mogils had donated to their synagogue before leaving Nebraska. Young Wil recently bought it for $15 at a book fair while visiting Omaha, and made it his mission to find its owner. "He did what's called a mitzvah, a blessing," Mogil said. It’s a blessing that Ted Mogil says he couldn't appreciate more. "That book carried me through some really tough times. It was one of the things that really helped me a lot," he said. "Now that I'm 85 years old maybe it will help me a lot right now." (King5)