Strangers Reunite Family With Military Quilt Lost In Tornado

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Lost Military Quilt Tornado
Troy Stolt/Times Free Press

When this woman found her home devastated by a tornado, she only felt worried about one thing: her husband’s military quilt. At first, rescuers could not find it, and all hope seemed lost. Then, help started springing out of the woodwork…

The Lost Military Quilt

Lost Military Quilt Tornado
Troy Stolt/Times Free Press

Horribly, a tornado completely destroyed Beulah Lockmiller’s house just a few weeks ago. In a moment, Beulah lost almost everything she had ever cared about. However, she didn’t feel worried about the cooking supplies or flatscreen TV. Those items she could replace. Unfortunately, through all the rubble, she could not find her husband’s military quilt, her most prized and irreplaceable possession. You see, veteran Larry Lockmiller died around 10 years ago, and a family member had made the quilt in his memory for Beulah. It included all his patches, as well as American flags and photos printed onto fabric.

Since then, Beulah has safely cared for the quilt – until the tornado tossed it away. The woman and her daughter spend days rummaging through the area, as well as neighbor’s property, but could not find the quilt anywhere…

The Mystery Behind Disappearance

Lost Military Quilt Tornado
Troy Stolt/Times Free Press

Meanwhile, as Beulah Lockmiller and her daughter searched for the military quilt, they had no idea of a development happening nearby. In a neighborhood a few miles away, Times Free Press photographer Troy Stolt was photographing the tornado’s devastation. As he did, he noticed a colorful quilt lying on the ground. Not wanting to move the item, he simply took pictures and posted them on social media. Believe it or not, the Lockmiller’s recognized the quilt and reached out. Of course, Stolt felt more than happy to show them where he had found the military quilt. Unfortunately, it would not be that easy…

When they arrived, the quilt was gone! Beulah could not believe her terrible luck and felt sure she would never see the quilt again. Days passed, no more news arrived, and the family started to lose hope. That’s when a local woman, Pilar Estrada, created a post. “Hello to all my friends,” she wrote. “today, I want to take a min to make this special Post.” Then, Estrada continued by telling others that her son was doing some community service in the East Brainerd area and found the quilt. “For a min, my son wanted to keep it, but he realized that it was custom made for someone special, so he and I decided to make this post to try to find the owner of this blanket and to give back to the right owner.” Beulah felt sure Estrada had the family’s quilt!

Going Back Home

Lost Military Quilt Tornado
Troy Stolt/Times Free Press

As you might imagine, the Lockmillers quickly contacted Estrada. Within an hour, they were meeting up to return the quilt to its rightful owner! “It’s kind of unbelievable just like everything else that’s happened this week, but I’m just so excited,” Beulah said. “To think that someone had the heart to return, it just means a lot to me.” Now, she just needs to find a safer place to store it. “I don’t know where I’m gonna put it. I’m gonna protect it so if I have to put it in a 5,000-pound safe,” she said.

Meanwhile, Estrada posted on Facebook again to thank everyone that helped. “Thank you so much to all the people who helping share this post, I’m so happy that I found the owner we are going to meet to give them back the blanket,” she wrote.

Loren Lockmiller, Beulah’s granddaughter, says the Estradas have no idea how much the military quilt means to her. “(My grandmother) was very, very, very emotional, because losing my grandfather was losing part of herself, so ever since he passed, she has just been hurt … losing another part of him and getting it back was bittersweet,” she said.

Sources: Times Free Press, MSN