An Arizona man has been reunited with his high school letterman jacket after nearly 30 years — and it’s all thanks to his brother’s thrift store adventures.
“It means a lot to me, actually. I thought about it over the years that I never got it,” he told the outlet. “And to have my brother find it… if it was someone else that found it would cool but the fact I found it four hours away up in Lakeside makes it even crazier.”
According to Jed, he ordered the letterman jacket from his high school 28 years ago but never picked it up because it cost $300-400 and his family was unable to afford it at the time.
“I loved my football team. I loved all the guys on the team. Most of them had letterman jackets. I was bummed,” he said of the jacket. “I didn’t tell anybody. I was a little embarrassed about it.”
Jed moved on from the disappointment, though he would think about the jacket every now and then.
Just recently Jed received a phone call from his brother, who was at a thrift store with some exciting news, according to Arizona’s Family.
“He calls and says, ‘Jed, was there any other Jeds in Chaparral in 1994?'” Jed recalled to the outlet. “I said, ‘Nah, just one.’ I looked down. He said, ‘Dude, I just sent you this picture of your jacket.’ I couldn’t believe it.'”
The scene was equally as thrilling at the store, according to Josh.
“He’s on speaker cause my phone’s broken. I can only talk on speaker so there’s all these people in the store and he’s going, ‘Where are you? There’s no way!'” Josh explained to the outlet. “I was like, ‘I swear to you, this is happening right now, Jed. I didn’t make this up.'”
“People in the store were like, ‘What is going on?'” he continued. “I tell them. They are freaking out.”
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After Josh purchased the jacket for $25, the brothers met up on Tuesday, when Jed was finally reunited with his long-lost beloved jacket.
It was a moment that both believe was made possible by their late mother, who died nine years ago, according to Arizona’s Family.
“My mom was like, ‘If I ever go, I’m going to send signals,'” Josh explained to the outlet. “I was like, ‘Where are these signals, mother?’ This was it!”
“If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is,” added Jed. “If I had this the whole time, it would probably be all beat up and sit in the back of my closet. Now I’m going to wear this thing with pride.”
With the jacket now reunited with its rightful owner, Veterans Village Thrift Store said they’re hoping to do the same for others — free of charge, according to Arizona’s Family.
The shop, which donates 100% of its proceeds to local veterans, said they recently received about 1,000 letterman jacket donations from all over the state. Though many have been claimed, others are still waiting to be picked up, the outlet reported.
Those who believe their letterman jacket might be at Veterans Village Thrift Store should contact store representative Maggie Heath at (602) 689-8056.