Although politicians put a lot of praise into the veterans who risked their lives fighting for freedom in the armed forces, they seldom put their money where their mouths are. Politicians do very little to provide for veterans who come back to the United States following active duty and tours of combat, often leaving them to fend for themselves and deal with the emotional and physical traumas they endured during their years of service without so much as a thank you.

One veteran, who had risked his life in the name of democracy, found himself upon hard times. Because he needed cash, he took the opportunity to bring an old Rolex he had to lie around to the Antiques Roadshow on PBS when the program came rolling around to a town near him. And when the appraiser told him just how much the Rolex was worth, the veteran, who was ignored by the government ever since he risked his life serving for America, fell to the ground in surprise at its value.

“For the first time ever, we had a guest so overcome by the valuation of his treasure that he falls to the ground in surprise,” the Antiques Roadshow announced.

Because the show finally stopped in Bonanzaville in Fargo, North Dakota, the United States Air Force veteran was able to try his luck with the appraisers who travel along with the show. The man, who ordered the Rolex through the Air Force base exchange back in November 1974, always knew the watch had some retained value. He had paid $345.97 for the watch back in the mid-1970s, which was nearly a month’s salary for the underpaid serviceman. Although he adored the Rolex, he never wore it because it was worth so much money, and he knew that he had better cherish it like the reassure he knew it to be.

For four decades, the man kept the luxury watch locked away where no one could put their grubby hands on it. The watch was locked away in a safety deposit box where the veteran himself hardly ever saw it in person. No one ever touched the watch to their greasy wrist or hold it for any length of time. It was preserved in mint condition and proved to be a diamond in the rough of this man’s hard life.

The Rolex proved to be an exceptionally rare make and model. Not only did the watch have that going for it, but the veteran also had the original packaging and warranty papers that came with it back in 1974.

The appraiser, Peter Planes, could instantly tell that this watch held a lot of value. He was very excited to have it in front of him.

“It’s an absolutely fabulous find,” Planes said. “It’s one of the rarest Paul Newman models, and in this condition, I don’t think there’s a better one in the world.”

Although the veteran could ascertain that he was sitting on a gold mine by the way that Planes was talking about the Rolex, he never would have guessed its value at auction was as high as Planes estimated.

The watch is now worth about $700,000. The veteran fell down in shock.

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