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Veteran meets girls who returned lost wallet to his doorstep

A disabled Marine Corps veteran in Detroit met the twin sisters who returned a wallet he lost to his doorstep last week, WJBK reported.

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Marc Walsh lost his wallet in the snow, and it was found by 14-year-old sisters Makhia Vincent and Makyla Vincent as they walked to school, the television station reported. The girls brought it to Walsh’s home but he was away. However, a security camera at the residence caught the girls’ good deed.

“I'm so incredibly grateful, so grateful and humbled,” Walsh told WJBK

Walsh’s wallet contained several hundred dollars in cash, credit cards and a military identification, the television station reported.

“Really heartbroken, I really didn't know what to do,” Walsh told WJBK.

The television station arranged a meeting Saturday between Walsh and the twins.

For the Vincent girls, thoughts of their grandfather weighed heavily in their decision to return the wallet.

“I read the veterans card and I was like, ‘I would hate if that was my granddad and that happened to him,’ so I knew we had to return it,” Makyla told WJBK.

The girls stood in front of the security camera and waved the wallet before dropping it on the doorstep. 

Reaction to the girls’ honesty was positive and swift.

“All of a sudden we were all over the news and people are saying, ‘Thank you for turning it in’ and everything, it was great,” Makhia told the television station. 

Walsh thanked the sisters and gave them all the cash that had been in his wallet when he lost it, WJBK reported.

“I feel really happy and grateful that I could help somebody because I know other people could have kept the money,” Makyla told the television station.

Army sergeant shot 13 times in Iraq earns college degree

An Army sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division, shot 13 times during a mission in Iraq, completed another rendezvous with destiny Saturday when he walked across a stage to receive his college degree, WSMV reported.

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Jay Strobino, whose acts of heroism are documented in Jim Frederick’s 2011 book, “Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death,” earned his diploma at Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in exercise science, the television station reported.

Strobino took a bullet in the leg that snapped his femur, was shot twice in the lung and another bullet pierced his neck.

"Yeah, it's wild," Strobino told WSMV. "It's nothing short of a miracle that I'm alive let alone standing on my own legs moving my own body.

"My mind hasn't caught up. I still can't grasp it. It still feels surreal. It still feels like a dream, like this is not real, and it's wild.”

Strobino also minored in biology and said he is thinking about pursuing his master’s degree at MTSU, the television station reported. He said he wants to land a job at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs so he can help other veterans reach their post-military goals.

"The sky isn't even the limit. You can push past that, like there is no limit," Strobino told WSMV

Sailors reunited with families just in time for holidays

Dozens of sailors from the U.S. Navy are back with their families in Jacksonville after an eight-month deployment.

They were reunited with their loved ones at Naval Air Station Jax on Saturday – just in time for the holidays.

“We haven’t put up any trees, no decorations. No presents wrapped," Melanie Skiva said. "We're waiting for him to come home to do that."

Skiva and her four kids anxiously awaited the arrival of their husband and dad at the hangar Saturday.

Their youngest is just 10 months old.

He was one of several other babies at the homecoming who have spent the first few months of their lives without their mom or dad.

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Amber Wright said her husband was home for the birth of their youngest. They’ve been counting down the days for him to come home. Luckily her military husband didn’t miss one of his child’s milestones.

“He’s right on the verge of walking. He’s held out until he’s home, so at least he’ll be able to see that,” Wright said.

When the MH-60R planes touched down, families ran out to greet their loved ones.

Some of them were overcome with emotion as they hugged and kissed.

The HSM-72 Proud Warriors were deployed aboard the Norfolk-based, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman for eight months.

It departed in April to support maritime security operations in international waters across the globe. 

Loved ones said the time apart was tough, but the wait was worth it to have them home just in time for the holidays.

“I’m ready to get him out of here, put him in the car, take him home and never let him leave again,” Skiva said with a laugh. The sailors at NAS Jax were among 240 personnel returning to their families this weekend.

Trump to review case of Matt Golsteyn, Army veteran accused of murder

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Sunday morning that he would be reviewing the case of a former special forces officer and Afghanistan war veteran who is facing a murder charge. He said the review is being done “at the request of many.”

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The Washington Post reported that the Army notified former Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn Thursday that he will face one murder charge. He is accused of killing a suspected Taliban bomb maker without permission in 2010, while in Afghanistan. The military has been investigating him since 2011, when officials said he confessed to the killing during a polygraph test that was part of a CIA job interview. Phillip Stackhouse, Golsteyn’s attorney, disputed the characterization of his client’s comments during the interview.

“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder,” Trump tweeted. “He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.”

Golsteyn told Fox News in 2016 he killed the suspected bomb maker.

“There’s limits on how long you can hold guys,” he said at the time. “You realize quickly that you make things worse. It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed.”

That interview led the investigation to be reopened after a series of on-and-off investigations, Fox News reported. It had previously been dropped in 2014.

The Washington Post reported that Trump’s tweeted statement could impact Golsteyn’s military prosecution. It is expected that the commander chief does not make statements that would influence an open case.

Navy sailors deployed before holidays say tearful goodbyes to loved ones

Families waved goodbye to their loved ones serving in the Navy on Wednesday morning when about 400 sailors were deployed from Florida's Naval Station Mayport just 13 days before Christmas.

>> Watch the news report here

“It’s a hard time,” sailor Brandon Sanderson told Jacksonville's ActionNewsJax, pausing as he was overcome with emotion. “Sorry. Seven months though, seven months. We’ll be back.”

Tearful goodbyes from the pier were a common sight.

Sanderson was one of the approximately 400. He left warm wishes with his four daughters, wife and mother Wednesday morning.

“Our whole family, church family at Christ Church we’re just praying for him,” said Sanderson's wife. “And (we) look forward to him coming home soon. We’re just counting the days.”

They’re deploying in support of maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation. They’ll also provide a forward naval presence in Europe and the Middle East. Sanderson said these days are never easy, but he remains focused on his mission.

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“Make it all back alive,” he said. “See our family, friends, loved ones and everything, and get on about our day.”

More than 4,500 sailors and Marines will deploy in the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Group will deploy next week to meet the ship.

“Gotta be there to support one another,” said Sanderson. “That’s why we’re here, (to) support the country, support one another.”

Group flies large Confederate flag along North Carolina interstate

The Sons of Confederate Veterans have placed a 20-foot-by-30-foot Confederate flag along I-40 in North Carolina.

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The group is flying the flag in eastern Burke County because it believes the University of North Carolina is trying to hide the toppled Confederate statue, Silent Sam, by placing it inside a building.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans erected the flag to honor those from Burke County who fought in the Civil War.

The organization said it will place huge flags along major highways in North Carolina for every Confederate memorial removed in the state.

“This is our repercussion for this,” Burke Tigers Sons of Confederate Commander Elgie McGallird said. “As long as they keep desecrating and taking our memorials down, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

 

Navy chief helps deliver son as wife gives birth on side of Florida freeway

A Navy chief petty officer and his wife welcomed their newborn son to the world – on the side of I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida.

>> Watch the news report here

The day before the baby was due, Amy Tetreault took her 3-year-old daughter to look for seashells at Fernandina Beach. She figured it was their last chance for some girl time before the baby came.

On the way back to St. Marys, Georgia – where the family lives – she started having contractions.

Her husband, Chief Petty Officer Paul Tetreault, was at home with their two boys. She called him and her midwife.

"I told her my contractions are every 5 minutes and they're about a minute long, do you think I should come in?" Amy said. "She said, 'Oh no. You sound alright. You don’t need to rush in.' I was like, 'Uh, OK. I'm kind of nervous.'"

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

She said she got home and got in the tub, but the contractions kept getting more intense.

She asked a friend to come watch her three children while she and her husband got ready for the trip to the UF Health Birth Center in Jacksonville.

They had to stop for gas because her tank was empty from the trip to the beach.

"Of course there's no gas pump open. He's like doing laps around and around, and I'm like 'Can you hurry it up?' And all of I sudden I felt a pop – my water just broke."

Paul quickly put $7 in the tank and they got back on the road. They made it to Jacksonville and were just a few miles from the hospital when Amy turned to her husband.

"I was like, 'Oh boy, I can feel his head,'" she said. "Luckily, it was right when we were getting on the off ramp so he pulled into the grass and put it in park."

Her husband ran around the car to his wife's side.

"She was like, 'Don’t pull the baby!' I was like, 'I'm not!'" he said. "Waited, then maybe three seconds later the whole baby comes out – just like the three other births, arms flopping."

Paul caught the baby and said he was thankful he started crying immediately – meaning he was breathing.

"(Paul) just handled the business, got up, handed him to me, hopped back around and kept driving," Amy said.

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Amy says she doesn't remember snapping a selfie right after the birth. She found it on her phone a few days later.

"It was definitely a bonding experience. It was weird how through it all I was never nervous or scared," she said. "Compared to my last three births in the hospital, I never expected it to go as smooth as it did."

Baby Austin was 7 pounds and 13 1/2 ounces – a happy, healthy baby boy.

"It was nice the way – I mean a little crazy – but nice the way we had the baby. Because it was on her terms, the baby's own terms and we just did what had to be done," Paul said.

Paul Tetreault is stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Thieves steal $5K in materials from disabled veteran's future home, deputies say

Thieves in Washington state stole more than $5,000 worth of building materials from the construction site of a disabled veteran’s future home in Maytown, Thurston County.

>> Watch the news report here

“When you feel like you’re not really worthy of a home in the first place and then you come out here and you find somebody’s broken into a box and stolen a bunch of materials, you know, from your project that have been donated for free – that just makes me feel even worse,” said Sgt. Jereme Sawyer.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said the theft happened at 4022 150th Ave. SW. 

Someone broke the lock off a storage container sitting in front of Sawyer’s future home and stole nine windows, worth more than $5,000. 

Miller Construction contractor Carey Miller broke the news to Sawyer on Tuesday. 

“The handle was open and, obviously, there was no lock on it, so you could tell someone had been in the container,” said Miller. 

Sawyer has been through a lot. 

On April 3, 2012, an IED exploded under him when he was in Afghanistan.

“I lost both of my limbs, obviously. Both of my eardrums blew out. My left eardrum was 100 percent; my right eardrum was 25 percent. The blast threw me back,” he said. “It gave me a traumatic brain injury because I hit my head so hard and it also gave me two bulging discs in my lower spine."

>> Read more trending news 

Since then, the retired Army veteran has overcome the unthinkable. Now, he has to deal with even more. 

Construction workers said they want to track down the person who stole from Sawyer.

“I’d honestly look them in their eyes and ask, ‘Did you know this home was being built for a troop, a wounded warrior?’ And I’d love to see their expression, and I’d pretty much go from there because if I didn’t see a tear, I’d probably make a tear,” said Chris Greenwood, Site Worx Northwest owner. 

“I feel like I need to take some form of action, but what do I do?” said Sawyer.

Homes for Our Troops is the organization funding the building of the home. Many materials are also donated by local businesses. 

“Homes for Our Troops is going to be a big part of my life that will allow me to even become a first-time homeowner,” said Sawyer. 

Those who’d like to help can donate to Homes for Our Troops. Anyone with information is asked to call the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at 360-704-2740. 

Trees for Troops: Help make Christmas complete for military members

You can help make it a perfect Christmas for those who defend our country.

It’s called Trees for Troops, and for 14 years, the group has delivered Christmas trees to military families -- 17,400 last year alone and 208,720 overall. 

The trees went to 70 military bases in America, as well as four international bases.

>> Read more trending news 

So, how can you help?

You start by visiting select tree farms across the country and buying a tree for yourself and at the same time buying one for a military family between this Friday and Monday. Then the trees will be delivered to bases all over the country.

Donations are also accepted.

Click here for a list of participating tree farms and where the trees will be delivered.

Caught on camera: Man appears to steal disabled veteran's cane in surveillance video

Someone stole the cane a disabled veteran uses to get around, and it was all caught on camera.

>> Watch the news report here

Surveillance video shows the man entering a Georgia restaurant with the cane and moments later, another man appears to take it.

"I had to learn how to walk all over again," said the Army veteran, who asked WSB-TV not to use his name in this report. He told WSB-TV's Matt Johnson that the chronic pain in his feet makes it nearly impossible to walk without a cane.

"I'm in pain 24/7. There's nothing I can do about it," he said.

For the past eight years, the Army veteran relied on a cane his daughter gave him as she battled cancer, not knowing if she would live or die.

>> Read more trending news 

"It came from somebody who had all she could pray over, much less worry about me getting a cane, so it's been that special to me all these years," he said.

She's now cancer-free, and the cane made from a palm tree grew to be a symbol of her survival.

He never expected to be without it until last Sunday.

Surveillance video shows the Marietta grandfather walking gingerly toward a bathroom in a Calhoun Kentucky Fried Chicken while a man at the register watches.

Minutes later, the man in black walks out of the bathroom with the cane and props it against the wall. He picks up his order, appears to pick up the cane and walks out of the store.

Without his cane, the victim said he felt weak.

"A lot of leaning up against the wall, leaning up against people," he said.

He watched the video that workers at the KFC on Highway 53 showed him.

"It was beyond anger; it was disappointment," he said.

He filed a report with the Calhoun Police Department and now even has a replacement cane.

He doesn't want anyone in trouble; he just wants what's his.

"I would cry, and it would be tears of joy rather than the tears I've shed over its loss," he said.

He hopes whoever is responsible will return the cane to the KFC or to the Calhoun Police Department.

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