CARROLLWOOD (FOX 13) - Months after Boris Stern received his long-lost World War II dog tag back, he met the French man who sent it to him.
Stern met Jean Paul Mandier in Normandy last month after former NFL player Donnie Edwards and his Best Defense Foundation gave him a trip of a lifetime.
During D-Day ceremonies in France, Stern was presented with medals and honored for his service during World War II.
"I still don't know where they found my dog tag," Stern offered. "I know it was on one of the beaches, but we were there, I don't know what beach it was."
He spent a week back in France, but the memories there will last forever -- and so will his friendship with Mandier. Since the beginning of the year, the two have exchanged hundreds of emails and photos.
"I've never met anybody like him," Stern said of Mandier. "I've thanked him several times for some of the things he's done and the response I get immediately – literally -- is, ‘You don't have to thank me. We have to thank you for saving us.’ Literally, that's what he writes: ‘For saving us.’”
"And I've told them the people we really ought to thank are those in the ground," he added.
With his dog tag back in his possession, Stern is constantly reminded just how thankful he is.
"I don't take it anywhere," he added. "I did originally. I took it around and showed it to some people. Now I have it in one of the drawers in my desk. I won't touch it!"