Former Marine's wallet returned after 40 years - WNEM TV 5

Former Marine's wallet returned after 40 years

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Bay City native Harry Kolka has spent the last few days starring at old pictures, a drivers license and his original Social Security card. That's because they, along with other special mementos, were in his wallet, which was stolen back in 1973. At the time, Kolka was a 21-year old Marine at the time, stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC.

"I went in to take a shower. I come back and my wall locker had been broken into and my wallet stolen. I looked for the wallet for a couple days. It was gone," recalled Kolka.

His old barracks were recently torn down. During the demolition, a worker discovered Kolka's wallet stuck between the walls.

It's an amazing discovery his mother didn't even believe when someone from the base called her trying to track him down.

"My mother thought it was a prank phone call and hung up on the guy," said Kolka.

Fortunately for Kolka, Marines are taught to be persistent. Now, he's got the receipt to prove he paid just $1,400 for his first car - a 1968 Olds Vista Cruiser.

It may have taken 40 years, but Harry Kolka is thankful to his comrades for taking the time and effort to find him and returning his wallet. The cash he remembers being inside is gone, but he says the memories restored by all the ID cards, pictures and receipts are priceless.

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