A mysterious box in the driveway

All of my recent blogs about my family’s military history brought to mind a fun story about a mysterious box I once found in my driveway.

One August evening in 1995 I came home and was surprised to find an old wooden box in my driveway. Though there was some writing on the outside about the 528th Engineers, I couldn’t see a name and there was no explanation as to why it was there. A call to the National Guard revealed that there had never been South Dakota Guard unit with the number 528. My next call was to the police who came as did airmen from Ellsworth trained in demolition—should the box present a threat. At the very last minute, rereading of the inscriptions by flashlight as it was dark out by this time, I saw the term “state room” and the name “Lt. M.E. Adelstein” stenciled in orange and realized the old wooden box was my father’s footlocker from World War I.

Despite a big story in the Journal (1995-09-14 army locker mysteriously appears), we never learned who had returned the footlocker to my family or where it had been found. While the footlocker was empty, it brought back memories of my father and I am grateful to have it as a keepsake.


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