Framed pictures of Air Force cadet identified, returned

KRQE News 13 told viewers Tuesday about the pictures of an Air Force cadet found by an Albuquerque woman inside an antique chest she bought at Goodwill. Well, it took less than 24 hours to find him, and it turns out his family has been looking for the pictures for more than a decade.

Long missing pictures of an Air Force cadet are about to be returned to their rightful owner.

“We’re delighted at the outpouring of people trying to connect us,” said Robert Hyde, the cadet in the pictures.

Tuesday, KRQE News 13 told viewers about the framed pictures found in an antique chest from Goodwill.

“My goal is to reunite this with the family members,” said Karla Morales, the chest owner.

The cadet in the pictures from the late ’80s, is Robert Hyde, a Mississippi native who was based at Kirtland about a decade ago.

“I was active-duty Air Force for about 30 years and we were stationed in Albuquerque twice down at Kirtland,” Hyde explained.

In the early ’90s, Hyde was deployed to the first war in Iraq. His sister, Sheila, who lives in Santa Fe, kept many of his mementos inside the wooden chest.

“She bought it somewhere along the line and kept things that mattered to her in there,” Hyde said. “Then somewhere in the course of all of her moving around she donated it to Goodwill.” 

“I had no idea that picture was in there,” said Sheila Hyde, Robert’s sister. “I would have never given it up.”

After searching for the photos for more than a decade, Hyde, who lives in Virginia now, felt nostalgic to see them again.

“Most of those pictures seems like it was focused on my academy graduation,” Hyde said. “There were a few pictures though of two of my nephews. Funny enough, one of the nephews is an active-duty Air Force pilot.”

The family says they’re grateful they’ll be getting those memories back soon.

“Reminded me of the good fortune of having these nice people go to such lengths to track me down and return things,” Hyde said.

Hyde says a few people from his basic training back in the ’80s have reached out, joking with him to stop misplacing his things. Hyde’s sister plans to get the framed pictures back Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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