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Military family pleads for return of sentimental vest


PERKINS, Okla. — It may be a long shot, but a military family is asking for thieves to return a very sentimental vest that was stolen from their Perkins home.

The leather vest has military patches that the owner earned while serving our country for 36 years.

First Sergeant Tom Stroud wore his leather vest proudly. After all, it’s not just any old vest.

NewsChannel 4 caught up with his wife at the hospital where she works.

“Iraq patch says March 20th, 2003 on it,” burglary victim, Beth Stroud, says.

Sewn into the leather, like memories stitched in time, are the patches Beth Stroud says her husband earned while serving in the military.

He survived that when so many other soldiers didn’t, and it’s not only pride for him and his troops, but the United States.

First Sergeant Stroud told NewsChannel 4 that when he came home Sunday his vest was gone.

“I don’t think some of those people care,” Stroud says.

Burglars stole it right out of his garage.

When the thieves broke into this garage they did take some big items like a lawn mower and some tools. Then they came over to a closet where they stole the vest.

He wasn’t comfortable going into detail on camera, but says just as sentimental as the patches were the small pins on the vest.

He picked those up riding motorcycles with his father in law who has since died.

“It stung. He has a lot of good memories on the road with his soldiers, with me, with family, with friends,” Beth Stroud says.

The Stroud’s hope the intruders hear their message:

“Please just bring it back. Drop it off on our gate. This was just too personal,” Beth Stroud pleads.

She wants the vest back where it belongs; on the man who earned it.

We spoke with the Payne County Sheriff’s office, and investigators say this is the first burglary in that area in quite some time.

If you know anything about this burglary, contact the Payne County Sheriff.