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PHOENIX -- A World War II veteran who donated his dog tags over 30 years ago got a big surprise Friday.

In 1981, Jack D. Shippey donated his tags to the museum at the Air Force's Non-Commissioned Officers school, but when the museum changed locations, his tags were lost.

The Shippey family contacted U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for help, after coming up empty handed for eight years.

Gosar's staff worked with the museum's curator and presented Shippey with his lost dog tags.

"Since he [Shippey] lost his wife, the only thing he has been asking for the past few years is his dog tags," Shippey's daughter, Suzanne DeVlieger, said in a press released. "Now he has them."

Gosar said it was a privilege to return the tags to Shippey, who "served our nation honorably during World War II and then came home to start a family and build a life, including a successful career."

Shippey joined the Air Force in November 1942. He was deployed in 1943 and 1944. He left active duty in 1945, after accumulating 1,721 flight hours.

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