Earlsboro Man Finds War Hero's Documents Buried In Trash

Monday, October 16th 2017, 6:57 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Buried beneath a pile trash, an Earlsboro family found another family's treasure.

"This is his enlistment paperwork," Johnathan Totty said, sifting through the trash.

Over the past few days, Totty has become an amateur archeologist, historian and detective. He was cleaning out an old 1950's school building on his family's property when he found military files and pictures of Charles Tedrick; a Vietnam war hero who was discharged in 1968 and died three years later.

"He received a purple heart in Vietnam, he's been to Germany. He's been 15 years of service. He's highly decorated. A bronze star, a purple heart. He's got his marksmanship badge," Totty said.

The more he read, the more Totty's interest became an obsession. 

"It was cool because it's not somebody I'd ever met and the way I’ve been raised like that I wanted to shake his hand, you know."

Tedrick’s family used to own the property with the old school building on it, but they didn’t realize the old documents were still there. Totty tracked down Tedrick's family on Facebook and passed along two boxes filled with old documents and pictures. 

"I was like, I have all the certifications, all the stuff and she just melted. It was cool. It was really cool for me to be able to help somebody like that," Totty said. "They never knew this man. And I was able to go and talk and visit with them and tell them all these things with this man was about. And he was a legend in my eyes. You know what I mean?"

The more Totty digs through the trash, the more documents and pictures he finds. He'll pass those along to the Tedrick family too. 

"His tale, his past, his life is scattered on the bottom of this floor. And this man needs to be recognized, I feel."