Veterans

Have You Seen This Hat? Community Rallies to Help WWII Veteran Find Beloved Cap

The family suspects the hat was lost somewhere between the Elks Lodge in Eastham and his house near Campground Beach

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A Cape Cod veteran is asking for your help finding his missing hat.

According to family members, the hat is a prized possession of Ross Laporte, who now resides in Eastham.

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The 97-year-old served in the Sixth Marine Division, fighting in Okinawa during WWII.

“It had a whole bunch of pins, probably half a dozen honorary pins on the hat that had been given to him over the years from a variety of different service organizations,” said Tom Keane, whose wife Ida is Laporte's niece.

"We went to the Elks on the night of the 18th of January," explained Ida. "Played a little shuffleboard, had a few beers, and then when we left to go home, we realized we didn’t have the hat."

The family suspects the hat was lost somewhere between the Elks Lodge in Eastham and his house near Campground Beach.

"We've searched the car, we've searched his house, we've looked around the area," said Keane.

In a pinch, the family took to Facebook to offer the community a $50 reward for its return.

"I just saw that the hat was missing and it pulled at my heartstrings," Brewster resident Laura Strunk told NBC10 Boston. "I have veterans in my family and you could see how proud he was of that hat."

After seeing the post, Strunk, who didn’t know the family personally, decided to double the reward money.

"Just showing a 97-year-old veteran that people care about what they did for this country, and that they're not forgotten," she said. "And even if the hat isn’t found, people still care about them."

"The response really has been overwhelming," said Keane.

Some Cape Codders took it upon themselves to search the area, making sure that this is a mission this Marine, will not take on alone.

“People have been walking all over Eastham trying to find this hat,” said Ida. “Just keep your eyes open for it. If you see it.”

“You could make a really great guy, really happy,” said Keane.

Anyone who finds the missing hat is asked to drop it off at the Elks Lodge at 10 McKoy Rd in Eastham.

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