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Published December 21, 2013, 12:05 PM

Son of WWII veteran receives "father's voice" as early Christmas gift

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - When Randy Bach of Moorhead hands out presents to family at Christmas next week, the gifts will be a treasured and "much missed" voice from the past: his father.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - When Randy Bach of Moorhead hands out presents to family at Christmas next week, the gifts will be a treasured and "much missed" voice from the past: his father.

Years ago, Randy interviewed his dad about his service in World War Two. That cassette tape became old, brittle and tucked away in a box… until now.

John Richard Bach didn't ever talk much about his time with General Patton's 11th Armored division.

Europe, 1944; places like Battle of the Bulge.

Randy Bach- Father’s Interview is Gift: “To him, they were inspired. This guy, we were the Americans.”

Back in 1989, Randy was a student at NDSU

Bach: “I was in English 102.”

And for an English class, he was assigned to interview a family member and write about them; and so for hours, a son listened to his father talk for the first time of war and sacrifice.

Bach: “I can't believe how ignorant I was about the European theatre.”

That cassette recording survived floods, multiple moves and time in a box. John passed away, but his voice remained on that aging cassette tape.

Toni Bach- Surprised Husband with CD: “As I was going through stuff six months ago, I was going through stuff and came across it.”

And so Randy's wife, Toni, decided this year, his Christmas present would be history restored and she turned to Media Productions in Fargo to work a little magic.

Toni Bach: “It was beginning to deteriorate.”

Audio experts here took the cassette and re-mastered it, all without Randy knowing it: A lasting digital memory.

Randy Bach: “I listened to it the other night for the first time at home.”

He heard his father's story again; his voice.

Bach: “It was the first time I heard Dad's voice since he passed. I think she saw I had a smile on my face.”

It seemed fresh; new. It felt like Christmas.

Bach: “A joy to hear him talk about it.”

Toni Bach: “It was pretty emotional. I let him have his privacy as he listened.”

It was tough to hear, but Randy is sure proud to be a son of this veteran; and this Christmas, everyone in his family will get the remastered CD. Some will hear it for the first time.

Sure, we all rush out to get the best deals for the holidays: Jewelry, toys and ties. Randy just found Christmas Joy in a message from yesterday: His father… A marvelous memory now treasured and preserved.

Along with the newly mastered audio interview, the family is getting the paper written in that English class back in 1989, along with other memorabilia.

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