Perspective: Showing off the good Samaritan spirit

Friday, July 10, 2009
Daniel Garrett shows the keys he lost in Charleston, W. Va., and the envelope used to mail them back to him by postal carrier Lori Long. Jason Moon Photo.

Hearing stories about good Samaritans are hard to come by these days.

But local resident Daniel Garrett recently came across one.

Garrett and his wife traveled to Charleston, W. Va., to visit family in the late part of June. His wife drove their car while he rode there on a motorcycle.

After visiting with family, the Garrett's spent the evening of June 22 in a motel.

They both got up early and before 6:30 a.m., June 23, they began traveling the nearly 420 miles it would take to get home.

But Garrett accidentally left his set of keys lying loose on his motorcycle.

"I laid them on the bag or something," Garrett said.

Attached to his keys was a P-38, a military-issued can opener he had since his days in Vietnam. Garrett said he had the P-38 since 1968.

When he got home the next day, Garrett realized he did not have his set of keys and was "devastated."

"It cost me $100 to get my keys replaced," Garrett said. "I just couldn't believe it. Of course, I have a second set of keys. But that P-38 took me through Vietnam."

Determined, Garrett called the Charleston Gazette and placed an advertisement under lost and found.

Four days went by before Garrett received a phone call from Lori Long, a postal carrier in the Charleston area.

"The chances of that lady reading that," he said. "That's got to be a miracle. I was devastated. I cared about the P-38. I didn't care about the keys."

Garrett said Long told him she was carrying mail with another Vietnam veteran who noticed the P-38.

"She said (the Vietnam veteran told her), 'We need to find out who those keys belong to because he's going to want them back,'" Garrett said.

She added a "good Samaritan" must have placed the keys in a post office box after seeing a Kroger card attached to the set, which explained if the keys were lost to drop them off at the nearest post office box.

On Thursday, he was reunited with the item.

"I was upset about that part of it," Garrett said. "But I got my baby back."

Garrett said he plans on sending the postal carrier something for her act of kindness.

"I already have a note out for her," he said.

As for the "good Samaritan," Garrett admits he may never know the person, but he is grateful for what they did.