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Lost military records returned to Tucson family

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 08:20:50-04

Georgia Reinert's father passed away in 1998. On Father's Day, memories of him were returned to her doorstep. A stranger had found a compilation of her father's military accolades.

"It just totally took me by surprise," Reinert said. "They had found it on the street. They had been researching it ever since."

A few months ago Shawn Guerrero's father found a binder full of military records for Reinert's father, Robert Burns Sosebee. The book was laying on the street on the Northwest side of town, not far from Reinert's house near La Cholla and Overton.

On Father's Day, Guerrero was at his parents house and decided to go online to try to track down the family of the man in the book. He was able to find the obituary for Reinert's mom, which connected him to all of Sosebee's children.

"Honestly, in this age it didn't take very long," Guerrero said. "It was about, I think we were there for 10 minutes, just connecting the dots from the obituary to looking up people on Facebook.

The Guerrero's were able to find that Sosebee's daughter, Reinert, lived in Tucson about a half mile away. Guerrero says they could tell that the book was special, and thought it would be even more special if they delivered it on Father's Day. Guerrero and his sister went to Reinert's house, where she recognized the binder immediately. 

"Really the story here is her dad and his military and accomplishments," Guerrero said. "And his service for this country."

Reinert's mother, Leona, passed away in February. Reinert says her mother told her that the binder held important information about her dad's military past. The binder may have fallen out of her car, and she had not noticed it was missing, Reinert said. She was extremely grateful that the Guerrero's went out of there way to help her. 

Sosebee was in the Navy, and then joined the Air Force for 30 years, Reinert said. The binder includes discharge papers, awards, and photographs she had never seen of her father. It also includes a letter from President Harry S. Truman, thanking Sosebee for his service.

"It just kind of tells you just a little bit more about how he was so honored," Reinert said. "And people really thought so much of him."

"You don't pay attention when they're here, to the stories, and some of the awards and things," Reinert said. "And when they're gone and you can't ask the questions."

Reinert says that this was a reminder that there are still kind people in the world, and she will continue to pay it forward.