Woman helps reunite Navy veteran with lost shadow box

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

HOUSTON - A Houston Navy veteran had his long-lost shadow box returned to him, more than 10 years after retiring from the military.

Jimmy Woodson served in the Navy for more than 20 years. When he retired in 2003, he had no idea his unit was chipping in to buy everyone a military shadow box. It's a box that contains various medals and awards a person has earned during their time in the military.

For years he has been keeping his awards in a cardboard box. But last week he received a call from a Houston woman named Terri Quebodeaux, who said she had his shadow box. 

"She said, 'Yes, I have a box.' And I said, 'Shadow box? Oh my God!'" Woodson said.

Quebodeaux said one of her co-workers found the box on a the side of a Houston neighborhood road more than 10 years ago. Ever since then the co-worker has kept it on a shelf in the office. About six months ago, Quebodeaux saw the box with Woodson's name on it for the first time.

"I knew he served our country and I felt in my heart that I needed to return him his medals," Quebodeaux said.

First she contacted a local veteran group in her neighborhood, but nothing turned up. Then she contacted a friend who works at the Houston VA Hospital. After six months of searching, she found Woodson. 

She returned his box to him Wednesday morning at Hermann Park.

"For her to go out of her way to look for me and present my box to me, I'm just so grateful and thankful," Woodson said.

Both he and Quebodeaux still have no idea how the box ended up on the side of a road, but Woodson said it came at the perfect time. He said about three weeks ago he went online to search for a shadow box to purchase. 

Woodson said he plans to place it on a mantel over his fireplace at home.

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