EASTERN SHORE, Va. (WAVY) - While cleaning the coastline along the New Jersey coastline, Donna Gugger found a cadet jacket, dozens of years old.
"I dug it out of the sand and thought, 'What a great costume!'" Gugger said. "It was close to Halloween and it looked like a Sergeant Pepper jacket."
After taking a closer look, she noticed a West Point tag inside of the jacket. Gugger did some research and found out the jacket belonged to Chester DeGarve, a World War II hero who died in 1993.
"I thought, this jacket is going to mean something to somebody and I'm gonna make sure that I'm gonna do what I can to find the right people," Gugger said.
She sent the jacket to West Point for cleaning and with the help of the school, found out Chester's widow lives at the Eastern Shore.
"[Chester] would have been astonished and very touched, I think," said Teresa DeGarve, Chester's widow.
Teresa DeGarve said her husband fondly remembered his days at West Point, but she had no idea the jacket existed.
"I just couldn't believe it," she said.
Chester graduated from West Point in 1956.
After a brief reading by Teresa and Chester's son, Teresa opened up the box and saw the jacket for the first time.
"Isn't that just beautiful?" she said.
Where the jacket has been for more than 80 years remains a mystery, but has finally found its way home.
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