The memories of Ben Zellmann’s deployment to Iraq are not all lost, and he has a man named Matt Walker to thank.
In 2008, Walker was in Washington, D.C., with his landscaping team when he found a smashed camera on the side of the road, reports FOX 5 D.C. He took the camera home and used the pictures on the memory card to find any clues he could about the camera’s owner. He learned after going through over 300 pictures that he was searching for a Marine whose last name was Zellmann.
“I’ve never been in the military, but by the photos, I can feel what they were going through, and this is why it makes it some important to give it back to him,” he explained.
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Zellmann said that after his camera and computer were stolen in 2008, he didn’t think he’d see them or the pictures on the devices ever again. Little did he know, Walker would spend the next nine years of his life trying to find him.
And find him Walker did, after making several phone calls and following certain tips along the way.
“I’ve contacted recruiters, I’ve contacted Marine buddies trying to figure out how to get this back to him, but nothing,” Walker recalled. “Iknow he’d want it back. He did a tour, that’s probably a onetime thing, and it looks like he survived, because he was at the Washington [Redskins] game. I’m not sure if that was before or after, but if it was me, I’d be sure I’d want them back.”
Walker was inspired to contact FOX 5 in honor of the Marine Corps 242nd birthday and Veterans Day. After reaching out, Walker was able to use new resources and tips to find Zellmann.
The men are scheduled to reunite Sunday night on television.