Treasures Returned to Veteran in Need

By Tracy Lehmann

| Photographs By Photo by Janna Reynolds

A fan of the television show “Storage Wars,” Phoenix member solutions specialist Janna Reynolds’ hobby is selling odds and ends from abandoned storage units. Her latest trove has earned her accolades as a “guardian angel” for a struggling veteran.

As Reynolds sifted through a unit containing furniture and a barbecue grill, she discovered military records, infantry photos and other mementos belonging to Pfc. Blake Funk.

“I told myself that if I ever found personal items like that I would do my best to find the owner,” she says. Locating him wasn’t easy, as searches and social media queries turned up empty.

Reynolds followed a Facebook lead to Funk’s mother, Kim Goetz, and turned over the cache of memorabilia, which included his baby book and family photos. Upon learning from the grateful mom that Funk was days from being evicted from his apartment, Reynolds decided to give Funk the $415 she made selling the furniture from the unit.

She didn’t stop there. She and a friend accompanied him to a local facility run by a volunteer organization that supports homeless veterans.

Goetz has noticed a difference in her son. “He feels like now he wants to give to others, and that’s not something he ever considered,” Goetz says. “It all goes back to Janna’s generosity. I look at her as Blake’s guardian angel.”

It was rewarding for Reynolds, too. “If it happened again, I would do the same thing,” she says, “because it’s the right thing to do.”