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Oct 11, 2020 | News

Senior Master Sgt. Jerrod Kester had his phone, wallet and ID stolen when a thief broke into his truck. It didn’t stop him from keeping a promise to be in Texas the next day volunteering with the Wounded Warrior Project. (Source: Wounded Warrior Project)

By John Shryock and WSFA Staff | October 29, 2019 at 10:09 AM CDT – Updated October 29 at 10:09 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – It was a situation Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jerrod Kester wasn’t expecting to find himself in. Should he cancel his volunteer trip to Texas or stay in Montgomery in hopes an investigation would recover his stolen property?

It all started on Oct. 4.

“My wife and I were headed to work, and she started yelling at someone to get out of my truck,” Jerrod recalled. “The guy started running with the backpack he had stolen out of my truck.” Inside were important personal items including Kester’s wallet, phone, and identification.

Jerrod, stationed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, has also served as a police officer and chased the suspect. Unfortunately, he was unable to catch the thief. He called the police, then had to make a decision about his upcoming plans.

Jerrod was set to volunteer at a Wounded Warrior Project event in San Antonio the following day. That’s about a four-hour flight from Montgomery, but without his identification, Jerrod realized he couldn’t fly.

“It never crossed my mind not to attend,” Jerrod explained. So, according to Wounded Warrior Project, he spent 12 hours in the car, covering nearly 900 miles, to be in place for the Wounded Warrior Project’s Carry Forward® 5K on Oct. 5.

“I made a commitment to volunteer, and I was going to honor that commitment to Wounded Warrior Project as I’ve done in the past,” Jerrod added.

Jerrod Kester put aside his own problems and joined more than 2,000 other people for the event to supports wounded veterans and their families.

“I believe it’s our responsibility to give back to those men and women who have borne scars in defense of our nation and freedom,” Jerrod said. “They’re my brothers and sisters in arms, and this is my way of giving back to them and showing my unending support.”

And as fate would have it, good things were waiting for the man who made it a point to help others despite his own circumstances. Jerrod’s backpack and stolen property were found in a neighbor’s yard.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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