An elderly U.S. Army Vet has been reunited with a precious family heirloom some 64 years after it was stolen from him. Col. Robert E. Burrows was gifted an 1864 civil war-era Bible by his father, Charles Burrows, when he was just 7-years-old. The delicate book of scripture belonged to Robert’s great-great-uncle, Archibald Todd.
Having kept it for many decades, the artifact was stolen from Burrows in 2015. Devastated, the U.S. Army Security Agency veteran, who served in the Vietnam War, resigned himself to never seeing the book again. But Burrows, a keen collector of historical items, would soon see his fortunes change. One, day as he browsed through eBay pages looking for more items to add to his collections, he spotted something that caught his eye. It was an old-looking Bible, but had a unique marking that almost made Burrows weep.
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) November 18, 2018
Scrawled on the last page were three Biblical references: Matthew 18; Roman 12; Corinthian. Immediately recognizing the handwriting, he knew that he’d located his long-lost family heirloom. “I said, wow, that has to be my uncle’s,” Burrows told NJ.com.
The New Jersey native immediately picked up his phone and called the local police department to report what he had seen. The police then passed Burrows on to the FBI, who simply said: “expect a package in the mail.”
When the package did indeed arrive, Burrows initially thought nothing of it – he was regularly bidding on new items he’d discovered on eBay.
But having convinced himself that the Bible would never return to his doorstep, the military vet was in for a monumental shock when he opened up the package. When he realized it was his family heirloom, Burrows said he could have burst into tears.
“I got something back,” he said. “A piece of family history is back.”
Funnily enough, Col. Burrows received the title of “Colonel” not from the United States Military, though he did serve as a counter-espionage specialist. Instead, Burrows takes the prestigious title as a result of his service with the “Kentucky Colonels,” a highly-respected philanthropic organization.
In order to be promoted to the honored role, members must be nominated by another Colonel in the organization. Burrows was nominated for his innumerable charitable works.
“They are cut above individuals,” said executive director Sherry Crose of Burrows and his fellow Colonels. “They make the difference in your community.”