MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
When a U.S. Air Force aerial port worker lost his wallet while working at Taqaddum Air Base, Iraq, in 2007, it appeared that he might never see it, or its contents, again. But that wasn’t the case.
Fast forward three years and Staff Sgt. Brandon L. Walker’s wallet turned up under the seat of a Light Armored Vehicle sent to Maintenance Center Albany. It had apparently fallen under the seat of the vehicle while he was loading it onto a departing aircraft during his tour in Iraq.
“We were disassembling an LAV and I found a wallet under the driver’s seat,” said Houston Favors, heavy mobile mechanic, LAV, MCA, about his discovery of the item. “The first thing I thought is that it didn’t belong to me or anyone else in the LAV shop because it had been in the vehicle a long time.”
At that point, the wallet began a journey that led to its shipment to Walker, now stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Bessie Reggans, fleet liaison chief, MCA, determined the wallet’s owner by checking the driver’s license and credit cards inside it.
“We had a name, and we didn’t know if he was active duty or reserve,” she said. “But his driver’s license had an Alaska address and there was information in the wallet about Elmendorf Air Force Base, so I just used the information that was there and contacted him.”
She called his shop and told the surprised airman that his wallet was in her desk at MCA in Albany, Ga.
“He was like, wow, it’s been years since I lost that wallet, I didn’t know what happened to it,” Reggans recalled.
They traded e-mails and one provided context to what he was doing in Iraq.
“I am an aerial porter in the Air Force and it’s our job to load and unload all cargo and vehicles in and out of theater. I was stationed at Taqaddum Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May-Nov. 2007 and my wallet must have fallen out in the vehicle when I was loading it on the jet,” he told Reggans. “I originally thought I threw it away with my room trash because that’s when I realized I didn’t have it the next day.”
Walker, who had cancelled credit cards that were in the lost wallet and gotten a new driver’s license, expressed his gratitude for the efforts of everyone at MCA who saw to it that his property was safely returned to him.
“I would like to thank you once again for your help and returning my belongings,” said the Air Force staff sergeant.
Reggans mailed the now beat-up wallet to Walker, with all of its original contents intact, including a few U.S. dollars, some Iraqi currency, cancelled credit cards, mementos and something new: a great story to go with it.