A Walpole veteran is asking for the public’s help finding a bracelet he lost Saturday honoring a US Army veteran friend killed in action 14 years ago.
Corey Winer has worn a bracelet inscribed with the name “Derek S. Hines” since 2005, he said. That’s when his hockey teammate from the US Military Academy at West Point was killed in action in Afghanistan.
“It’s for a teammate of mine at West Point. He was a freshman my senior year. We played hockey together and forged a friendship bond unlike anything else,” Winer said.
First Lieutenant Derek S. Hines died at 25 in Baylough, Afghanistan, when his unit came under enemy fire, according to his biography on hopeunseen.com. The Newburyport native graduated from West Point in 2003 and was the captain of the academy’s hockey team his senior year.
Hines’ family and friends received a bracelet inscribed with his name, date of death, and a quote, “Be thou at peace,” Winer said. Friends and loved ones of military people killed in action often wear memorial bracelets to commemorate fallen troops.
“I look down at my wrist to remind to be better and the best person I could be every day. That’s why it’s so significant to me, the bracelet,” Winer said.
Winer spent his Saturday shuttling his children between flag football practices and soccer games at Francis William Bird Park and Bird Middle School, he said. He thinks he lost his bracelet at one of these fields.
“I had my two kids with me eating at Subway before my son’s soccer game. I just looked down at my wrist and only had one of my bracelets I usually wear. I was shell-shocked,” Winer said.
Winer and his family went back to both fields, but they couldn’t find the bracelet. His wife, Lori, wrote about the missing bracelet on Facebook Sunday in a post that was shared over 1,100 times as of Monday afternoon.
Walpole residents and students touched by the post have gone to the fields to look for the bracelet. Winer thinks someone might have picked it up at the busy fields that day. He can get a replacement bracelet, he said, but it won’t look like the original.
“I’m still holding out hope,” Winer said.
A local veteran lost this bracelet Saturday at either Bird Park or Bird Middle School while attending football and soccer events. If anyone comes across it, please let us know. The bracelet has tremendous sentimental meaning to its owner so we’d like to help get it returned ASAP! pic.twitter.com/6MDFwfJdqB— Walpole Police Dept (@WalpolePolice) September 16, 2019