Killeen TX dog tagTracy McLoud, left, presents Perrie Bigham with the World War I dog tag of Bigham’s father, William L. Villines. 

The tie that binds: WWI dog tag returned to soldier’s relative, 85 

By Larry Causey
via the Killeen Daily Herald newspaper (TX) web site 

There were a lot of surprises for everyone in the case of the recovered World War I dog tag of U.S. Army Pvt. William Larkin Villines.

First, Tracy McLoud of Belton was surprised when her metal detector led her to dig up the disc. She’d been over that ground before, she said.

Then, she was surprised when, with the help of her sister, Stacy McLoud, and a friend, Roxann Patrick, she was able to identify the owner of the dog tags and locate his daughter, Perrie Bigham, 85, who lives in Temple.

Bigham was pretty surprised herself.

“I’m the last survivor of the family,” she said. “I don’t know how they found me. I was shocked when she called me. I had a nephew with the same name who was in the Marines. I thought it was him. But she said it was World War I.”

On Saturday afternoon, McLoud and Patrick paid Bigham a visit, told the whole story and gave her the dog tag.

“I was born in 1936, so I didn’t know anything about World War I,” Bigham said, adding that her older brother, Charles, was in World War II.

“He never was OK after it,” she said.

Bigham said her daughter, a chemistry professor in Fort Worth, sent her an embarkation document with Villines’ name on it. Tracy McLoud looked at it and said she thought it marked young Villines’ passage from France to New York.

“I’m very humble that she took the time to find me,” Bigham said. “I’m excited about that. I’m going to put it in some kind of little case to preserve it." 

Read the entire article on the Killeen Daily Herald web site.

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