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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day-Fixing Up Daddy's Foot Locker

My dad served during WWII and was in the American forces who were sent to Japan after the end of the war. He still tells stories of when he was in the US Army. Although some of the facts get mixed up in his 87 year old mind, he still remembers some things vividly and talks a little in Japanese if you ask him.

His foot locker was in very bad shape. It is made of pressed board and when I got it home, I noticed that the bottom of it was falling apart.  I now understand why he had placed a piece of plywood inside it. It was also very dusty, dirty and stained inside and out.
There were no stenciled names on it, so I cleaned it off as best as I could and painted it. I also duck taped the bottom of it on the inside and outside with green duck tape. It matched the original paint almost perfectly. It had no collector value the shape it was in, only sentimental value, so I felt it was okay to do this. It was unusable the way it was, I wish I had taken a 'before' picture of it, but I forgot.

I placed his army blankets and jacket in it.

I added the letters Mom and Dad wrote to each other (as sweethearts),and the pictures and cards that he had saved.
The picture on the far left is of the tent city they lived in while there.

 I added more of his souvenirs. His dog tag, Japanese money, scrapbook, sun glass case and books.

Then I made it all nice and neat before  I closed it  up.


The Japanese sword would not fit inside, so I laid it on top.

 I almost regretted bringing it out to work on, but I am glad I finished the job. It was a labor of love and it is now clean and usable. It is the perfect place to store his Army keepsakes.

You can go here and see my Veterans Day posts of previous years.


  1. Wow! He sure saved a lot of stuff. This is so wonderful that you have all of this and have it in his foot locker. What a wonderful keepsake.

  2. What a great collection, all of it tied in together. I could see this as a WWII exhibit, somehow, with all the story in it. Or maybe it could inspire an educational children's book?

  3. Wow. I love how you still have that collection of treasures. A labour of love indeed!

  4. Such a lovely thing for you to do. Did your Dad like the make-over?

  5. Janet, this has nothing to do with today's post, but I wanted to thank you for the comment you left for me about the little glass slipper. I did some research on Google and found that it probably is Fenton and saw several examples. So, with your knowledge, I finally know what I have; thanks!

  6. Janet,
    Such a sweet thing for you to do. It's great to restore the foot locker and keep these things that your father owned. I know it was touching, but such a sweet thing to do and keep these memories alive. I appreciate very much your father and all our soldiers serving our country.

  7. Hi Janet, what a loving tribute to your Dad. I know what you mean, sometimes it is a little sad to go through keepsakes but how loving of you to preserve them and I know that your family will really appreciate it in the years to come! Delisa :)

  8. Great loving project. I imagine this trunk and the items in it will stay in your family for a long time.

  9. Oh, Janet, how wonderful! It truly was a labor of love! It is so great that he has so many of his keepsakes from his service time, and that wonderful Japanese sword as well! How much all of this must mean to you and the rest of the family! I am so glad you still have your Dad. Every time I see a WWII vet I get all mushy inside. I just feel like they safeguarded all of our freedoms and went through so much and now they need us to care for them and to treasure every minute with them. They are very special indeed. I really loved this post!

    Thank you for your comments on my blog, as well. I like that you linked to your past Veteran's Day posts and I will check them out. I know I will learn much more about your awesome Dad when I do! I may use the link method next year to show my past posts as well. It's a good way to show ALL of the story!

    Hope all is well with you and yours!

  10. I'm so glad you were able to restore it! And wow what a treasure trove it is now : )

  11. Janet,
    How nice that you have all those things. My Dad was in world War11 also. He was in a prisoner of war came for 17 months, released and sent to Walter Reed Hospital, and was there for 16 months. He lost a leg. He died when he was 36, but I had him for eight years. I have a braclet of his, and a few other things. You have a really nice collection.
    Nancy Jo


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