DALLAS (AP) — The family of a soldier who died in captivity in Vietnam has received a prisoner-of-war bracelet engraved with his name, four decades later.

LaWanna Williams said that in 1970, she purchased a POW bracelet with the name of Staff Sgt. Dennis Hammond, held in captivity by the Viet Cong.

Williams prayed for Hammond and considered the bracelet a companion through graduate school. She prayed for him regularly for the next 44 years.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that she searched the Internet to see what happened to him. He had died after trying to escape a prison camp.

Williams tracked down Hammond’s sister, Carlene Tackitt, and eventually mailed her the bracelet.

Tackitt says she’s surprised and comforted by the unexpected gift.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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