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World War II veteran sells car to Gen. George S. Patton's grandson

George Patton Waters and Reuben Schaetzel shake hands after car deal in Shawano, September 20, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

SHAWANO, Wis. (WLUK) -- A handshake sealed the deal for a transaction in Shawano Wednesday between a car salesman and World War II Veteran, and the grandson of American World War II Gen. George Patton.

Even with decades in the business, car salesman Reuben Schaetzel was a little nervous about his latest sale.

"Pretty exciting for me, I didn't sleep last night," Schaetzel said.

Everything was ready to go.

"This is a 2018 Equinox," said Schaetzel, a sales consultant at Buss Chevrolet.

The car was for a friend. Schaetzel met George Patton Waters, or Pat, three years ago, during a veterans trip to Pilsen, in the Czech Republic.

"He heard that I had some contact with his grandfather, so he introduced himself to me," said Schaetzel.

That grandfather was U.S. Third Army Gen. George S. Patton. Schaetzel and the general met during the war.

"He stopped his jeep along side of my tank," said Schaetzel.

Patton consoled Schaetzel after the soldier's tank was knocked out during battle.

"'What happened here, soldier?' And I told him, 'look in the turret, General.' He patted me on the back. He said, 'take care of yourself soldier, and good luck,'" said Schaetzel.

More than 70 years later, at Buss Chevrolet in Shawano, Patton's grandson joked about returning a favor.

"My grandfather gave him his first tank. He lost it. Now I bought a car from him, so, we're all even now," Waters said.

The new car is decked out with Patton's Third Army emblem. Four stars on the front license plate made the transaction complete.

"It think it's a beautiful car. It will always symbolize our friendship," said Waters.

"Never before was I so thrilled to deliver a car as I am today. Sixty years later, and 17,000 sales later, this one tops them all," said Schaetzel.

Waters lives in South Carolina and says he hasn't decided whether to drive or ship the car home.

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