A couple looking forward to their new life in Arizona made a pit stop in Albuquerque. However, their quick visit turned into heartache, as thieves made off with precious military memorabilia.
“I served in Afghanistan in Kandahar. I was personal security detail for upper-level officers and state department folks,” said Matthew Thomason.
Thomason served in the Army for ten years.
“I came back and I went into the National Guard of Kentucky and started having issues with PTSD and tore my ACL twice,” he said.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Thomason says the southwest sunshine makes him feel better. So, he and his girlfriend made the drive to Arizona this week to move to the desert.
“We stayed in Albuquerque on our second day of driving and stayed at the Extended Stay. We were only there for about 10-12 hours,” he said.
Thomason said everything was fine when he woke up Tuesday morning at the Extended Stay on Gibson and Yale.
He stepped out to walk his dog and check on his truck, then went back to the room.
“I went back in to get the coolers and to pack up a few things, and within that 20 minute stretch, it was gone,” he said.
It was a box that was filled with military memorabilia.
“They took a large hard plastic box that contained all of my military certificates, all of my medals, my ribbons. They took both my grandfathers’ service flags from when they passed away. They both served in WWII,” he said.
Thomason says he forgives the thief, and just hopes whoever did it will show some compassion.
“It’s mostly those things in that box that I can’t buy back, so if I were going to say anything to them, I’d say please just drop it off somewhere where somebody will be able to return it to me,” he said.
Thomason says a few hundred dollars in electronics were also stolen during the incident, but he says he doesn’t care about those and just really wants his memorabilia back.
A police report has been filed and there are no leads on who might be responsible.