STARKE, Fla. -- A small silver World War II canteen has gone full circle and its journey was nearly 70 years in the making.
The year was 1944 when its owner, 24 year-old Army Corporal Jesse J. Ricks, was serving in France during World War II.
Decades later, at 92 years-old, he still remembers the day he lost his canteen.
"I pulled my belt off and laid it on a timber on the side of the barn and that's the last time I seen it," said World War II veteran Jesse Ricks, one of the last living members of The Greatest Generation.
Last summer, Glyn Nightingale's teenage son stumbled upon that very canteen while walking through a barn near Normandy, France.
"We took it outside, washed it off with some water and all of a sudden J.J. Ricks appeared," said Glyn Nightingale.
After months of research, Nightingale finally found Ricks' family members on Facebook.
He and his family traveled thousands of miles to bring the canteen back to its rightful owner.
For the Ricks family, the canteen symbolizes the sacrifice thousands of American soldiers made during that time.
"Uncle Jesse has definitely earned his keep to have it back," said niece BJ Griffis.
According to Nightingale, it was the least he could do for a man who gave him so much.
"I probably would be speaking German if it wasn't for these guys," said Nightingale.
The canteen will be donated to Camp Blanding
where it will remain on display along with some of Ricks' medals and other items found with his canteen.