Published February 13, 2014
An American soldier who returned home from an eight-month tour in Afghanistan had her backpack containing ribbons and honorary certificates stolen an hour after she reunited with her parents.
Army Reserves Specialist Jackie Gatti, 23, landed at the Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Mass., on Tuesday night and headed to a restaurant in the area before making the two-hour trip back to her house, MyFoxBoston.com reports.
When the family returned to the pickup truck after dinner, they noticed Gatti’s camouflage backpack was missing.
Gatti told MyFoxBoston.com that she fell to her knees sobbing because all the recognition of her guarding Taliban prisoners in an Afghan detention facility was inside the backpack.
"A lot of my military documentation was in there. All my awards from my deployment were in there. I had company coins that my commander and first sergeant had given me as a job well done," she said.
Gatti says she is willing to pay $1,000 for information leading to the return of her backpack, and hopes the thief comes forward.
"That's something that we pride ourselves on in the military is our integrity, so I hope this person can find theirs," she said.