Soldier reunites family with tapes found in Goodwill purchase - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Soldier reunites family with tapes found in Goodwill purchase

The Humphrey family (Source: WAVE 3 News) The Humphrey family (Source: WAVE 3 News)
One of the videos showed their first son meeting their second child. (Source: WAVE 3 News) One of the videos showed their first son meeting their second child. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joe Lynch (Source: WAVE 3 News) U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joe Lynch (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kit Applegate (Source: WAVE 3 News) Kit Applegate (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A family traveled across two states to meet a Louisville soldier who found a library of lost memories in a Goodwill store.

It all started as a thrift store purchase. U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joe Lynch bought the camera and discovered tapes stuffed in a pocket.

Lynch made his mission to find the family and return the tapes. 

[PREVIOUS STORY: Goodwill camera purchase turns up precious memories] 

Since then, WAVE 3 News aired several reports about the tapes. The stories went viral across national networks and social media.

"It was really surreal, it was like, I can't believe that's me and people are that interested in finding my family," Stephanie Humphrey said.

The Humphreys aren't from the area. And except for an Oklahoma hospital logo stitched in a hospital scrub - there were few clues as to who the tapes belonged to.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Family featured in videos found in Goodwill purchase comes forward] 

"Then we started thinking how in the world are these tapes out because we didn't even know we had lost tapes," Phillip Humphrey said.

The Humphreys figured out they mistakenly left the tapes inside a camera case given to Stephanie's brother-in-law, Kit Applegate, who hardly used the camera and decided to donate it.

"We feel bad for not ever looking in this bag," said Applegate, who recently moved to Sellersburg, Indiana.

With the kids in tow, the Humphreys felt compelled to thank the man who had no gain in finding their family.

One of the tapes featured the family after Stephanie gave birth to their second child. "When we taped it, I remember thinking this is the first time my oldest son is seeing my second son and it's just priceless," she said.

Ultimately, the thrift store find was reunited to the rightful owners.

"I'm sure everyone has their video cameras up in their closet, on their shelves, and they haven't pulled them out for years. So it peaks our curiosity - what's in them? What treasures are in there we've forgotten about?" Phillip said.

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