BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – You could almost call it the “second chance warehouse”; it’s the Salvation Army’s collection point, where people’s donations get a second chance.

People like Chuck sort the donations. He’s also getting a second chance. Chuck is in the Salvation Army’s recovery program for men. He has turned his life over to Christ and works at the sorting warehouse as part of his road to recovery.

“Chuck is an incredible guy and in fact, if you know some of the story, this is the second time that Chuck’s had the ability to do something that would be very detrimental to him, but did the right thing,” said Major Donald Tekautz with the Salvation Army.

And in this case, that right thing that Chuck did? It’s enough to take your breath away…

What’s left over from a World War II veteran’s most prized possessions after a life of service ended up packed away in a box and eventually lost in the family for 40 years… until now.

Lester Bloomenstiel Sr., WWII veteran
Lester Bloomenstiel Sr., WWII veteran (Source: WAFB)

“It’s like a time machine,” said Lester Bloomenstiel, the son of a WWII veteran.

The Friday before Memorial Day, Chuck was at the warehouse sorting through donations when he came across an old war photo. Meanwhile, 400 miles away in Texas, Bloomenstiel and his wife were thinking about the upcoming Memorial Day, and Lester wondered out loud if he’d ever find his father’s lost things from the war, hoping to find anything to go with the flag from his dad’s casket.

“It’s just one of those God moments, you know, where things begin to roll and begin to put in place,” said Tekautz.