An Army Reserves Specialist who just returned from Afghanistan earlier this week is without her military backpack after someone stole it right out of her family's truck while they were eating dinner.
Jackie Gatti, 23, had only been back from Afghanistan for an hour when someone stole her backpack full of memories and proof of her bravery overseas.
"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.
She was among a huge crowd on Tuesday, being welcomed home by her parents and brothers after eight months in Afghanistan. She went to dinner with her family at a 99 Restaurant just around the corner from Westover Air Reserve Base.
When they got back into their truck to drive home to South Weymouth, Gatti realized her military backpack had been stolen out of the back of the pickup.
"I looked and I said, 'You have to be kidding me, it's gone.' And that's really all I could get out of my mouth was, 'It's gone," she said.
The Gattis have called pawn shops around Chicopee and have filed a police report. They say more than just getting the bag back, they want some of their faith restored in others by having that backpack returned.
"That's something that we pride ourselves on in the military is our integrity. So I hope this person can find theirs," Gatti said.
"My daughter just went over there for you, so you can live in the country you live in," said Jackie Gatti's mother, Carolyn Gatti.
The family is willing to pay who ever took her bag $1,000, which is more than they'll get for the backpack and its contents.
Copyright 2014 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.