MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) -- A veteran's legacy needs your help. A state-run vault in Montgomery, Alabama is full of items left in safety deposit boxes across the state. Sister station WHNT’s David Kumbroch found one very interesting treasure inside that really deserves to make its way home.
The treasury department's unclaimed property vault holds thousands of items, covering the spectrum of strange and beautiful. Many of them have a limited time left behind locked doors, but some might stay forever.
"A lot of the collector items that we get, we do send to auction, but the military medals do not go. They're always here in hopes that someone or a relative that they belong to will realize we've got them, and they will come forward to claim them." said Natalie Rudolph with the treasury department.
Each medal deserves to find its way home, but among the collection one piece of history truly stands out: A photo album.
"That was one that we were really hoping we could return," Rudolph said.
Its yellowed pages peel away like slices of time, holding a uniquely personal look at World War II.
"When we first got it, we went through, and everybody had to look at it," Rudolph said.
Perusing each picture feels like getting to know a friend. You meet a soldier and his boxing buddy, his father, his mother, a friend, and a best friend.
"It just felt so delicate," Rudolph said.
The album also holds clues, like an inscription carefully addressed to “Terry”. It has a picture carefully labeled "Me, Fort Bliss Texas, 1942".
Later, another entry, "Me in Frankfurt, Germany, 1945.” There's a listed discharge date -- December 2, 1945.
The bank that turned the album over to the vault says it belongs to "Terry N. Germany". Maybe that's the soldier's name. Maybe it's just a reference. Even with little context, history compels everyone who comes across the album to look through it.
But someone or their family misses these moments, like Seargent Singleton inexplicably replacing his shoe, two young soldiers becoming brothers in arms at an unlikely time, a war effort we took on as one.
The vault in Montgomery holds many treasures, and many deserve to make their way home. But some like the photo album absolutely demand it.