Mysterious military memories found at Bellevue business

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 3:03 PM CST
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - A local businessman was baffled as to how a surprising discovery ended up in his shop, but was determined to find its rightful owner.

After moving boxes and equipment into his Bellevue shop eight months ago, roofing contractor Luke Cochran said he needed to get organized.

“I’m making the time but didn’t expect to find that,” he said.

He found a plastic tote he didn’t recognize that contained memorabilia — a mystery he just has to solve.

“It’s what it looks like, to me, a treasure chest of history. This man’s history. A history of serving our government and us,” Cochran said.

Enough Air Force commendations and training certificates to cover a basement wall.

From a black-and-white photo era, the tote contains several albums with pictures of many different Air Force personnel wearing stripes, bars, and clusters. Photos albums, plaques, commendations — tokens from a life of someone who dedicated their life to their country.

A flag that draped a casket 30 years ago and the deceased veteran’s name, Lyle Njos, engraved all over the memorabilia — but nothing about the family.

“I’m going to get it back to them. I’m going to find the family whatever I’ve got to do,” Cochran said.

Lory Falk said Njos served our country for 40 years. She and her son said the tote full of memories got lost in the shuffle of a move about a year ago.

“Absolutely history. Yeah, my dad has been gone 30 for years and this is kind of all we have left of him,” Falk said. “We’re proud he was in the military and then civil service.”

A dedication that will soon be saluted on a grandson’s wall. And with the mystery solved, Cochran says, “Mission accomplished.”

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