PINETOP-LAKESIDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Valley native has been reunited with his letterman jacket after nearly 30 years.
Jed Mottley ordered a letterman jacket from Chaparral High School back in the 90s, but he never picked it up because his family couldn't afford it. Flash forward to 2021, where his brother, Josh, found the same jacket at Lakeside's Veterans Village thrift store.
"He calls and says, 'Jed, was there any other Jeds in Chaparral in 1994?' I said, 'Nah, just one.' I looked down. He said, 'Dude, I just sent you this picture of your jacket.' I couldn't believe it," said Jed.
"He's on the phone. He's on speaker cause my phone's broken. I can only talk on speaker so there's all these people in the store and he's going 'where are you? There's no way!' I was like, 'I swear to you, this is happening right now, Jed. I didn't make this up.' People in the store were like, 'what is going on?' I tell them. They are freaking out," said Josh.
On Tuesday, the brothers met in the Valley to exchange the jacket. Jed said it fit great.
"If I had this the whole time, it would probably be all beat up and sit in the back of my closet. Now I'm going to wear this thing with pride," said Jed.
Josh bought the jacket for just $25. The jacket would have cost $300-400 back in the 90s.
"I loved my football team. I loved all the guys on the team. Most of them had letterman jackets. I was bummed. I didn't tell anybody. I was a little embarrassed about it," said Jed. "It means a lot to me, actually. I thought about it over the years that I never got it and to have my brother find it."
"If it was someone else that found it would cool but the fact I found it four hours away up in Lakeside makes it even crazier," said Josh.
Both men can't help but think their mom, who passed away nine years ago, had a hand in getting the jacket back.
"My mom was like, 'if I ever go, I'm going to send signals.' I was like, 'where are these signals mother?' This was it!' said Josh.
"If this isn't a sign, I don't know what is," said Jed.
Veterans Village Thrift Store got around a thousand letterman jackets donated from all over Arizona. Many have been picked up. But the thrift store wants to reunite the rest of them with their rightful owners for free. So if you never picked up your letterman jacket, there's a chance it may be at Veterans Village. To get in touch with the store, contact Maggie Heath at (602) 689-8056.