World War 1 Soldier Footlocker Returns To Family

By Rex Lyle • November 23, 2014

I found this WW1 footlocker at a local garage sale years ago. It was empty upon inspection at the sale and it sat in my garage. Only when I cleaned it up to use as a display piece in the house did I notice the writing of a soldier's name, Wayland Bliven.

It shows the following ever so faintly-

SHIP TO: 401 RANDOLPH ST EDGERTON, WIS CO M-128 INF NG USA

I was floored when I saw this and started a search for any family members, anywhere. I contacted the Wisconsin NG, spoke with Captain Brian Faltinson, and he found a Mr. Blivens, last known address in New Mexico long ago. Long shot finding family down the line but...SUCCESS!

After several months of searching for any living relatives, I located Mr. Blivens Niece and Grand Niece, living in Edgerton Wisconsin!

I made contact, they're receptive, something I was worried about, and my wife and I are waiting on them to talk with their families for further arrangements to transfer the locker.

I said to my wife and others, if I didn't find Mr. Blivens family, I would donate the locker to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

This is an emotional thing for me, not about money as I could've sold the locker, this is about the soldier and his extended family and doing the right thing.

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