BRISTOL BITS: Long-lost dog tags returned to family

Published on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 13:04
Written by BOB MONTGOMERY

I was contacted by Paul Sulzicki of Southington a couple of weeks ago after he had done research on an Army dog tag that his son, Jack, 10, found while digging in their yard on Saturday the 12th of this month. When the family purchased the property in 2006, there was a 1920 Dodge buried in the ground with its rear sticking out and that’s where Jack had been digging in finding it.

When Jack was old enough with his curiosity, he asked if he could dig around the vehicle and has been doing this for a while. In fact, he unearthed many interesting items, such as military items, forks, and other odds and ends. On that special Saturday, though, the young detective/historian came up with Army dog tags, buried four feet underground in belonging to a George J. Barnett Sr.

With this, dad got on his computer and chased down the Barnett name only to see something that I had written on a George J. Barnett, Jr. Peter called me and we enjoyed a great conversation. I told him that I had a friend in Bristol, Bob Barnett, and we went from there. Bob’s brother, George, Jr., died in a North Korean POW camp, and this started something special. Bob’s father was George J. Barnett, Sr., and it was thought that these must be his dog tags, having served our country during World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Bob and I then met the Sulzicki family at their home in Southington a few days later and sure enough, the dog tags Jack found were those of Bob’s father. So, how did they get there?

Apparently, one of Bob’s sisters, Betty, was the proprietor of the house and land the Sulzicki family now owned and that was in the vicinity of 1950 to 1980. When the elder Barnett passed away, Betty and her sister, Rose, went through his personal items and the dog tag must have been part of them. How they got buried is unknown, but it’s thought it wasn’t done intentionally. This was a family treasure.

Anyways, it’s another great Bob Barnett story, one of many that are proudly military based. And in receiving his father’s dog tag, Bob informed me afterwards that they will be on permanent display at the Memorial Military Museum of Bristol, located inside the Bristol Historical Society.

By the way, Bob, his father and brother George all served as master sergeants. Dad served in the Navy in traveling the seas during WWI before finishing his naval career on short duty during WWII. He then joined the National Guard in serving during the period of the Korean War. Bob served in the National Guard and was once the driver for Bristol’s highest ranking officer, Brigadier General Edward F. Wozenski.

In closing, Kudos to the Sulzicki family for this thoughtful deed and especially Jack, who I believe will make a great research historian one day. Nice family, great parents and kids.

Contact Bob Montgomery at bmontgomery@bristolpress.com or by calling 860-583-5132.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 13:04. Updated: Wednesday, 25 November 2020 13:07.