Memorial Day

A Sign From Dad: Missing Dog Tag Found at Jersey Shore After 50 Years

Facebook helped locate the family of the Coast Guard servicemember who had lost it when a boat overturned

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A family in Texas is getting a long-lost memento of their dad -- who died in 2016 -- thanks to a couple at the Jersey Shore with a metal detector.

Joseph Franco was walking the shore with his detector Saturday evening when he found a Coast Guard dog tag with the name Sylvan Schiffman inscribed on it.

Franco's wife, Melanie, turned to Facebook -- and just hours later, they had located the family of the dog tag's owner.

Turns out, the treasure had been missing for 50 years, after Schiffman lost it when a boat overturned. Schiffman had been stationed at Cape May.

Making the memento even more important, Schiffman had died in 2019.

Schiffman's son says he believes the find is a message from his dad, adding that Memorial Day will take on special significance to his family now.

"I have found rings, I have found silver coins, but this is one of the most personal things I have found so far. And it's going to be a pleasure to give it back," Franco told News12.

The Francos can't believe how quickly Schiffman's family was found.

“It's pretty incredible," Melanie said. "We posted a picture, we told them where it was. And within five to 10 minutes, we started receiving messages from folks that actually work at the Coast Guard here in Cape May. One gentleman said, 'Don't worry I'm going to figure this out.' Figure it out the Coast Guard did.”

The Francos say they will be mailing the dog tag to Schiffman's family, who live in Texas, just as soon as the Post Office opens after the holiday.

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