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Veteran’s missing wallet found in tons of recycling

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JONESVILLE, N.C. -- The old saying, one man's trash is another man's treasure doesn't really apply when you throw your wallet in the trash by mistake.

A Jonesville man is lucky to have his wallet back after it accidentally ended up in his recycling bin. The wallet had his bank card, identification, and his Veteran's Administration Card.

Luckily for him, another man was up to the challenge of saving the wallet after it became the needle in a 10,000-pound haystack of recycling.

It all started like most every Monday morning. Calvin Bryant takes his blue bin to the curb in front of his Jonesville home. The contents are picked up and taken to a recycling facility in Winston-Salem.

A few weeks ago, the wallet went out with the recycling by mistake while Bryant was taking out an armful of recyclables.

"When I raised up to drop it in there, I came down like that and my wallet just came out and dropped into the recycling bin,” he said.

His wife started praying, Calvin made some phone calls and ultimately a Waste Management site manager in Winston-Salem named Terry Feeney started looking.

Feeney was able to intercept the Jonesville Truck before its 10,000-pound load got mixed in with the rest of regions recycling.

"I just took it one sweep at a time," Feeney told FOX8.

The first wallet he found was empty. So was the second one. He found a total of 4 wallets in the 5-ton pile.

"It's kind of goes back to finding a needle in a haystack ... but as long as you realize the job's finding the needle, you just have to move the hay out of the way," Feeney said. "If that was my wallet, I would hope somebody would take the time to look for it correctly."

After several days of diligent searching, Feeney was able to make the call to the Bryants, although he had to leave a message.

"He said, 'Mr. Bryant, I have good news, I have found your wallet,'" Calvin Bryant told FOX8. "I was very relieved because the sentimental value of things hadn't been hurt"

While he could replace the bank cards, driver's license and even the VA card, the Father's Day letter from his son and the picture of his wife as a young lady had more value to Bryant.

Now all of those items are back safely in his possession and he couldn't be more thankful to Terry Feeney and the crew at Waste Management.