Daughters receive father’s army saber years after his passing


AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – The Augusta Military Museum got its hands on a US Army cadet saber originally from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute several months ago. There inscription was made out to Lt. Col. J.W. Howe of Mount Sidney, and the search was on to find his descendants to return the saber.

15 years after his passing, Barbara Halvorson and her sister have fond memories of their father.

“Anytime you get something that reminds you of someone you love and family, you feel grateful to get it back,” Halvorson said.

Curator Richard Van Breemen says none of this would have happened without a couple turning in the saber which they found in their home’s attic.

Unlike the swords of Augusta Military Academy, the saber’s blade is curved.

Once research revealed the bigger story, his team’s choice to give the artifact to its rightful home was easy.

“There was no reason for it to stay here. It’s far too important to the family for it to just end up at the antique mall being sold off as a trinket or a prop or Halloween,” Van Breemen said.

The saber carries a lifetime of Howe’s adventures from World War II stories to slicing wedding cake. The saber has a great story to kick off the new chapter now that it is back where it belongs.

“The story of how it came back would it be the story that goes to the next, how it got lost and how it found its way back. maybe that’s what a lot of stories do,” Halvorson said.



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