Matt Stone found the visor hanging in the Halloween hats section at Goodwill.
A week later, he spied the older wool uniforms stuffed on the rack at the thrift store.
Stone, 22, a collector of World War II memorabilia, a hobby he picked up from his great-grandfather, knew there was something special about the uniforms with the $4.99 price tags and the hat with the matching names written on them.
“It seemed odd to me that all the ribbons and insignias were still on it,” Stone told KARE.
Turns out, the uniforms and hat were stolen from the Makkyla family about seven years ago.
Martin and his brother Jack served in World War II. Martin died in 1969 and Jack in 1981. Neither had children.
With some help, Stone was able to track down the family’s descendants, about 191 miles north. Their nieces were excited and in disbelief to be reunited with the uniforms.
“It’s something we didn’t expect to see again,” Jane Boyer told KARE.
Stone was grateful to help get the uniforms back to their place.
“I hope they feel pretty happy that you know, a 22-year-old kid in this day and age is going to these stores saving this stuff and returning it to the family,” Stone said.
Boyer, a quilter, showed her appreciation. She gave Stone a patriotic quilt covered in American flags.