Nearly 13 years after Army Lt. Jonathan Rozier was killed in action in Iraq, a charred bracelet engraved with his name and date of death turned up in a St. Paul strawberry patch.
The finder of the bracelet tracked down Rozier's parents and mailed it to them in Katy, Texas.
Now Rozier's mother – who posted photos of the bracelet and accompanying letter to Facebook – is left wondering who in Minnesota cared for her son enough to wear the bracelet and what the story behind it is.
The letter reads:
"Forever thinning the strawberry patch in my backyard. I came upon this hard object, dirt covered, & scorched. Upon further investigation & scrubbing off of dirt, I found this memorative bracelet for your son Jonathan. How it came to be in my strawberry patch in Saint Paul, Minnesota is beyond me. Perhaps the compost from our city? Anyway, my strawberry patch now has a name & forever shall be known as Jonathan's Patch. Thanks for sharing such a little bit of your son's valiant life. Found his story & your names via the wire. Thinking of you, all best to your family - Annette.
P.S. Those strawberries are fantastic!"
Barbarba Rozier tells Houston television station KPRC she appreciates being united with the bracelet and is grateful to Annette of St. Paul.
“I think it’s sweet. She could have found it and tossed it away," Rozier said. "I’m sure she’s a mother, so she thought like a mother and thought that maybe I would like to have it.”
Barbara Rozier tells FOX 9 her son never traveled to Minnesota. At least for now, she can only guess about who owned the bracelet, telling FOX “I'm figuring it must be a battle buddy. He went to Texas A&M and Aggies are everywhere worldwide, so it might be a classmate or something.”
Lt. Jonathan Rozier
According to the website Fallen Heroes, Rozier's unit took rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire while manning a checkpoint in Baghdad on July 19, 2003.
An Associated Press story on Lt. Rozier's funeral notes he was killed three days after his 25th birthday and his survivors included his wife, Jessica, and their nine-month-old son, Justin.
Barbara Rozier tells KHOU she misses her son every day but could not be prouder of his sacrifice.
"You never get over it, you learn to get through it," she told the staion. "I relate it to an amputation. It's a part of your body, of your being, and it was severed off. You'll always remember it was there, and you learn to live without it, but you never forget it."