Melanie Trubey got the e-mail early one morning.
A stranger from the Netherlands was asking about her family. And he offered some startling news of his own.
“Being a collector of WW II items and stories and, in the first place, a great admirer of the American soldiers that liberated our country at the end of WW II, I found while using my metal detector a Dog-Tag with the name: Milton S. Reese written on it,” wrote a man called Felix de Klein.
Is she Milton S. Reese’s granddaughter, he asked. Is her mother Midge Trubey and is she Milton S. Reese’s daughter? Did Milton S. Reese serve in the U.S. Army during World War II and was he in the Netherlands?
“You have found the right person and the right family,” she replied.
By then, Trubey, house manager at Ronald McDonald House Central in St. Petersburg, had broken the news to her mother, Midge, a retired caterer, florist and event planner.
Midge Trubey and her sisters, Alice Blanc and Robin Ragsdale, likened the news to having their adored father, who died in 1992, back — if only for a moment.