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Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle recruits help to reunite veteran’s military mementos with family

Contributed Photo • From left, Unicoi County Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle is getting some help from U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger in her quest to reunite the mementos of a World War II veteran with his family.

By Richard Rourk

Unicoi County and its people are known for many outstanding qualities, two of which are the desire to serve and the drive to help out a neighbor. 

Unicoi County Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle is familiar with those qualities. 

“Unicoi County has a had a lot of men and women who have served this country,” Tittle said. “We always try to honor our veterans in our office.”

Tittle became aware of some unclaimed belongings that could be traced back to a local World War II veteran. Tittle took on the task of locating the veteran’s family. 

“Veteran Charles Harris came across this box of belongings from an estate sale in Flag Pond,” Tittle explained. 

“It was really amazing to see all of this history,” Tittle added. “The box belonged to Clyde Price and it had his dog tags, his ration card and several medals. Everything was in unbelievable shape.”

Tittle said that another local veteran, Fred Burrell, remembered Price’s family and recalled that he was related to U.S. Rep. David Price. 

“Price’s next of kin is North Carolina Congressman David Price, who is originally from Erwin.”

Clyde Price enlisted in the U.S. Army and was listed as a Private First Class upon discharge in 1945. Price served in several battles, including Algeria-French, Morroco, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. Prior to his service, Pvt. Price was a salesperson of men’s and boy’s clothing. Price served in the Army from 1942 until 1945.

Tittle quickly moved to reunite Congressman Price with his relative’s belongings. 

“So I tried his office and when I couldn’t reach him, I contacted Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger, who offered to come pick up his belongings and take them to Congressman Price.”

Harshbarger visited Tittle’s office on Jan. 7 and collected Price’s belongings for return to Price’s family.