“The Best Thing to Do is Do What’s Right and Treat People the Way You Want to be Treated”

In August 2014, Private First Class Matthew Smith found a wallet containing about $4,000 in the parking lot of the commissary of the Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. He knew what to do: “It’s not mine; I need to give it back. I knew I had to find the owner and get this back to him, it’s just the right thing to do.” He tracked down the owner: an elderly South Carolina military veteran. Mr. Smith’s platoon sergeant, Staff Sergeant Edgardo Calderon, said, “I can depend on Pfc. Smith at any time to do whatever is right … From day one that I met Pfc. Smith, I knew he was a squared-away person.” He added, “It’s a great thing what he did. It is what is expected of any soldier or civilian. I was not surprised. I know I can depend on him to do the right thing even when no one’s looking. … He’s a great soldier, sets an example.” Pfc. Smith said about returning the wallet and money, “I feel like it was my duty. The wallet wasn’t mine; the cash wasn’t mine to keep. With that amount of money in it, I wanted to make sure personally that he got that back.” The wallet’s rightful owner gave him a $100 reward. Pfc. Smith said, “The best thing to do is do what’s right and treat people the way you want to be treated.”

For More Information: Corey Dickstein, “Hunter AAF Night Stalker soldier recognized after returning lost wallet.” Savannah Morning News (Georgia). 19 September 2014


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