72-year-old Vietnam vet happy to have his beloved hat back

72-year-old Vietnam vet happy to have his beloved hat back
Vietnam veteran Paul Morris lost his hat when driving down I-75 in Lima in his open-air Slingshot roadster.
Vietnam veteran Paul Morris lost his hat when driving down I-75 in Lima in his open-air Slingshot roadster.
(Source: ODOT)
(Source: ODOT)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Paul Morris is 72 years old, but he might just have one more jump in him.

People might ask him what he did for excitement back in the day. "'Did you ride horses?' I said, 'No, we jumped out of planes'," Morris said.

The U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient went through some of the scariest situations possible while serving in Vietnam, but this past Tuesday, true heartbreak set in.

Taking a drive down I-75 in Lima in his Slingshot open-topped roadster, his cherished Vietnam Veteran hat flew off his head and into no-man's land. He reckoned it was gone for good.

"If I go some place and I don't have it on, they say, 'You're out of uniform. Why? Where's your hat?'" Morris said. "That's why I've got one of these ones. I got one that says Vietnam, but it doesn't have the Purple Heart on it."

If you've ever lost something important, you'll understand how upset Morris was. But thanks to an ODOT bridge inspector who found the hat by happenstance, Morris' nephew Mitch Furry II saw a posting on social media.

"I'm like, 'Oh OK, somebody lost their hat; hopefully they can get it back'," Furry said. "And I scrolled down and I saw the picture and I thought, 'That looks really familiar.'"

Furry had seen that hat a couple of times atop his uncle's head. In fact, that hat represents a significant portion of his life.

"It hits me personally because that's part of his history and then he's one of the main reasons why I enlisted in the first place," Furry said.

And the cherry on top: Uncle Paul's reaction to the reunion.

"It's like having an anniversary," Morris said. "You know, I can get another hat, but this hat means a lot."

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