Military Culture

Marine recovers father’s ashes, community pitches in to help after moving truck stolen

A Marine officer who had his moving truck stolen with all of his personal possessions in its trailer managed to retrieve at least one sentimental item that was among the extensive list of lost goods: His father’s ashes.

Joshua Nobles was temporarily staying at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in San Antonio, Texas, last month when his U-Haul — and the personal vehicle that was attached to the moving truck — was stolen from the hotel parking lot.

The prior enlisted Marine was in the middle of a move from Quantico, Virginia, and was looking for a permanent living space for his wife and two children — the family welcomed their second child just two weeks earlier — when he came out to the parking lot and discovered nearly all his family’s possessions were gone.

“It just sucks to happen to anyone,” he told KENS 5 news.

“But, because of my situation with my newborn, and my family moving here and (being) new to the area, not knowing the right places to be — that kind of sucks.”

Among the truck’s contents were Nobles’ wife’s wedding ring, his Marine Corps awards, plaques, and an estimated $3,000 worth of uniforms, he told KENS 5. But like most moves, there were also a number of irreplaceable items.

“The things inside aren’t so much as important as the pictures of my family and my dad’s ashes,” Nobles told KENS 5 in the aftermath of the heist. “Those are the most important things. If I could get those back, that would be ideal. ... I feel like no one would want those as bad as me and my wife would want those back.”

Surveillance footage captured the moment the truck was stolen, but no arrests have been made in connection. Fortunately for the Nobles family, recovery efforts were expedient.

First, the moving truck was discovered one day later and found to be empty, aside from two uniform items. The community of San Antonio wasted no time in stepping in to help. Items were donated and a GoFundMe page created that has already generated over $33,000 to help the family replace lost items and settle into their new town.

“Whoever did this to them does not represent us,” Vanessa Rodriguez, a member of the nonprofit organization Social Donations, told KENS 5. “It is not who we are. We are Military City. We are here to lend a helping hand.”

One day later, Nobles notified local news that his personal vehicle had been located. In it were his father’s ashes.

“Noticing everything was gone was a little overwhelming, but getting the support from so many people is even more so,” Nobles told KENS 5.

“San Antonio has helped me appreciate people more than I have before.”

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