GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When Ian Engweiler pulled into the parking lot of the Basilica of Saint Adalbert on Grand Rapids’ West Side for his brother’s confirmation Mass Sunday, he didn’t realize he was about to make his own commitment — to find the owner of a lost military ring.
“Pull up into this spot, I step out of the car and it was right here on the ground,” Engweiler said, pointing to the spot where he found the ring with “U.S. Navy” emblazoned across it. “I was like, ‘I need to find whoever lost this because they definitely deserve that recognition as a veteran.'”
Engweiler picked up the ring and held on to it through the entire Mass. His understanding of the importance of the ring to its owner and the need to get it back to him grew as the moments passed.
“Sitting here, thinking about it, I probably didn’t pay much attention to his actual confirmation. I was really worried about it,” Engweiler said. “I definitely want to bring some positivity back… especially with all the stuff that’s going on, all the COVID. I definitely want to be able to make somebody smile.”
While Engweiler never served in the military, both grandfathers and a great-grandfather did.
“I definitely want to get this ring back to the veteran. He deserves it,” Engweiler said.
Engweiler left the ring in the hands of the church, where it remains locked up for safekeeping.
But Engweiler soon decided he needed to do more, so he posted a photo of the ring on his mother’s Facebook page. No one has come forward yet to claim it, but the post re-enforced the importance of his mission.
“Last I remember, it had over 500 shares, which blew me away. I guess this made people smile to see people trying to help each other out for someone they don’t ever know,” Engweiler said.
The ring has a large blue stone in the middle surrounded by smaller stones. The service date is from 1953 to 1963. There are other details, like a set of initials on the inside of the band that only the owner or someone close to him will be able to identify.
If you can help get the ring back to its rightful owner, contact St. Adalbert’s at 616.458.3065.