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World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family

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Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:30 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:33 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A Valdosta State University assistant professor received a surprising, heartwarming gift last month. It helped her learn more about her incredible father’s story, and his service during World War II.

Melissa Pihos is a very proud daughter. Her father is Pete Pihos, a professional football Hall of Famer. But before he starred as an end for the Philadelphia Eagles, he fought with General George Patton’s Army in Europe.

World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)

″He just has this really amazing story and I think it really affects who he became in his life.”

In March, Melissa received an email from a woman in France, saying she had found her father’s dog tag while hiking in Fountanbleau Forest and the woman sent it to her.

World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)

“The battle he was in there liberated her city. So she was really excited about his career and what he had done for her city.”

Melissa has worked filming documentaries on her father and knew she had to go to France. The chance to walk in his footsteps nearly 70 years later, where his dog tag had been found.

World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)

“I was very anxious, sad, and happy all at the same time. But then I felt closer to my Dad. Being in this place where he had fought the battle.”

Pete Pihos was 51 years old when Melissa was born. And she says sharing his amazing life story, from World War II to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a real love story for her.

World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)

“He would be really proud that his story is getting out there. Because he does have a great story. He would be proud that I’m doing it. Because he was very, he was just a great father.”

Melissa is an assistant professor of Dance at Valdosta State University. She has a very interesting documentary on her father and the finding of his dog tag on NFL Films.

Watch the documentary here.

World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family
World War II dog tag returned to Hall of Famer’s family(Melissa Pihos)

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