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North Carolina family reunited with WWII bracelet lost in France

"It's the best thing to ever happen to me." For the first time in his life, 80-year-old North Carolina man has his father's old World War II bracelet that was lost in France.

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It's finally home.

For the first time in his life, 80-year-old Linvill Phillips of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, has his father's old World War II bracelet.

Click the video player above to see Phillips' reunion with his father's bracelet.

Marshall Glenn Phillips lost it in northeastern France about 75 years ago while he was in the Army. It ended up almost a foot down in the ground and wasn't discovered until 2012 when a French man named Kevin Grenot found it by using a metal detector.

Grenot spent the next eight years trying to find out who it belonged to and finally had a breakthrough in January of this year when he made contact with professional genealogist Megan Heyl, of Michigan.

Heyl and her husband drove it down on Sunday. On Wednesday, she presented it to the Phillips family in Dobson.

Phillips said his father used to tell him and his brother about the bracelet and how he had lost it while he was overseas.

"I can't explain it," Phillips said, when asked how it felt to get it back. "It's just unreal."

Heyl has three decades of experience in her field and called this experience, "the best thing that's ever happened to me."

"It was a lot of hard work to find him," Heyl added. "Because all I had was an 'M.G. Phillips' and a number [inscribed on the bracelet]."

Initially, Grenot had planned to travel from France to North Carolina to deliver the bracelet in person, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he determined the best thing to do was to ship it to Heyl and let her do the honors. He did make a video for the Phillips family.

"I am very proud to be part of this story. I am glad that this bracelet came finally home. Thanks for watching and I promise you I will come to visit you," Grenot said in the recording.

"I can't believe how it came about to start with," Phillips said. "It was buried for 70-plus years. And between Kevin and Megan — they got it to me, and I don't know how they did it. Really. I appreciate it. I'm tickled to death for it. But I don't know how in the world they managed to do that."

Phillips said for now, he isn't sure what he plans to do with the bracelet. He might wear it for a little while or he might display it in his home.