ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque airport volunteer has found the owner of a military uniform that went missing in 2014.
For several hours a week, Rick Albright, 68, brightens up the hallways of the Albuquerque International Sunport. The veteran is part of the volunteer ambassador program at the airport.
“We get asked a lot where the bathrooms are,” said Albright.
Albright’s job is to make people passing through the city’s airport feel welcome. On Monday, he went beyond his friendly duty.
“When I looked at it, I could tell that we could probably find this because it’s a resume when you look at that uniform,” Albright said.
Albright is referring to a decorated dress uniform that’s been collecting dust in the Sunport’s lost and found for about nine months.
Sunport employees had exhausted their resources trying to find the owner. That changed when Albright stepped in to help.
“I have a daughter who works at headquarters for the Army in San Antonio,” Albright said.
He snapped a few pictures of the uniform, sent them to his daughter and then posted them on Facebook.
“I was just amazed at the Facebook responses. I am still getting them. My phone is still clicking shared, shared, shared,” Albright said.
Eventually one of the shares made its way to Maj. Carl Thompson in Tampa, Florida.
“I just figured that thing was gone,” said Maj. Carl Thompson.
Thompson said he lost his dress blues while traveling from Washington D.C. to Salt Lake City in November 2014.
“When I got off the plane the uniform wasn’t there,” Thompson said.
He said he had given up hope on finding the uniform until Albright brightened up his day too.
“It restores your faith in the goodness of most folks,” he said. “It’s nice to know that when someone finally found it they made the effort to get it back to me. I am pretty happy about that.”
Thompson said he has no idea how the uniform ended up in Albuquerque because he has never even been to the Sunport.
Sunport staff says it’s not unheard of for a military uniform to wind up in their lost and found.
While KRQE News 13 was there on Wednesday, we found everything from clothes and jewelry, to laptops, a skateboard, walking canes and even a giant cooler.
Workers say they hold on to every item for 90 days. If no one claims it, it’s either put up for city auction or donated to the Salvation Army.