Boston TSA officers reunite WWII veteran with long-lost POW ID

Thursday, July 8, 2021
Photo of Freidband and Kitterle

TSA employees continue to go above and beyond, showing their commitment to the traveling public. TSA Officers Adam Freiband and Gregory Kitterle are prime examples.

While sorting through some unclaimed IDs and licenses that were about to be destroyed, Adam Freiband, lost-and-found coordinator at Boston Logan International Airport, noticed a Geneva Prisoner of War Convention ID from World War II. No one came forward to claim the ID, but Freiband recognized how important it might be to the owner.

Officer Kitterle photo
Boston Logan International Airport TSA Officer Gregory Kitterle (Photo by TSA Boston)

After several weeks of searching without any luck, Freiband asked a fellow TSA officer, Greg Kitterle, for help in returning the ID to its rightful owner.

Based on TSA guidelines, the ID in the TSA lost-and-found inventory over 30 days was set for destruction. Freiband showed the ID to Kitterle.

“Adam asked me if I wanted to have a go at locating the owner,” said Kitterle.

After researching Geneva Convention IDs, Kitterle learned that cards were given to all military personnel in combat situations, and in the event they were captured, those individuals were supposed to be covered by the Third Geneva Convention agreement.

Understanding the ID’s importance, Kitterle turned to the Department of Navy website to see if he could enter the numbers on the ID to help find the owner.

“There were quite a few [numbers] matching the name on the card,” said Kitterle.

Officer Freidband photo
Boston Logan International Airport TSA Officer Adam Freiband (Photo by TSA Boston)

Although he found some interesting information when entering the ID numbers on the website, Kitterle couldn’t use anything from the numbers to find the right owner. However, he wasn’t deterred.

“I returned to using a name search adding filters to narrow the search and after about 45 minutes of digging, I managed to locate three matches – two recently deceased in Kentucky and Ohio, the other local to the Boston area,” Kitterle recalled.

Kitterle passed along the information he found, which included home and cell numbers as well as the last known address of the individual.

Thanks to Kitterle’s research, Freiband was able to successfully locate the owner, a World War II veteran, who was elated to learn TSA had his ID. TSA Boston’s Lost-and-Found Customer Service Office was pleased to reunite one of America’s war heroes with his personal symbol of service and freedom.