Navy veteran receives surprise early Christmas present in the mail

Good deed brings tears of joy, along with hope for kindness during the holidays

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A good deed brings happy tears to a local veteran. It also brings some hope for kindness during the holidays, and maybe all year long.

Karl Shannon, a 30-year Navy veteran who just retired, received what he calls a gift in the mail on Tuesday.

"The first thing I said to myself was, 'OK. Wow. He gave me an early Christmas present," Shannon told News4Jax.

The gift-giver is whoever sent a FedEx package to Shannon that contained his lost wallet.

The wallet got loose from Karl while he was surrounded by tens of thousands of people Sunday at the Jaguars game.

"As we arrived to the parking lot after the game, I realized I lost my wallet," Shannon said. "Very stressful situation."

Shannon and his wife took all the right steps -- immediately contacting people at the stadium and getting lost and found on the case.

"I really would like to applaud them for their courtesy and professionalism," he said. "They kept giving us, you know, some type of encouragement: 'Well if it's here, our staff members will find it and will get it to you. Just continue to call. Continue to call.'"

Shannon started calling to cancel his credit cards and military IDs, and spent Monday replacing them.

Then came the delivery, which delivered a smile and some happy moisture in his eyes.

"I came to tears because this is something that my mom would do. And this is something that she had instilled in all her kids to do: Do the right thing," Shannon said. "And, in my opinion, this guy is my hero today."

News4Jax tried to help Shannon track down that hero. We found a name and possible phone number then left a message.

Here's what Shannon wants to say in person, if possible, and what he said over the phone: 

"I would really appreciate if you could call me back so I could formally tell you how much and how grateful and thankful I am for what you did, the kindness that you showed, particularly during this time of year. Hoping and wishing that more people would be like you throughout the entire year ... I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart and thank you and I wish you a very happy holidays and God bless you."

Shannon showed News4Jax the card he is putting in the mail to send to the return address on the package. He said it’s not about the money he had in his wallet, which was all returned, it’s about doing the right thing, and being a good neighbor and a good citizen.

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