Man looking for owner of hat with military pins found in Lake Michigan

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 22:28:47-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. -- A post about a missing hat is making the rounds on social media, but it's what's on the hat that's encouraging people to share it in hopes of finding the rightful owner.

Randy Lovell says he found the hat while walking on the beach with his family on the Fourth of July. His nephew spotted it and his daughter swam out to grab it.

After inspecting it a little closer, they noticed the pins and obvious military connection. That's when they knew they had to find who it belongs to.

Like many people in West Michigan, Lovell and his family spent their Fourth of July at the lake.

"You never know what treasures you'll find in Lake Michigan," said Lovell.

While walking on the beach near the Grand Haven and Holland border, something in the water caught their eye.

"My nephew actually saw it first sitting just underneath the water about 20 feet out," said Lovell. "My daughter immediately jumped in the water and grabbed it. We had no idea what it was."

After letting the hat dry, they noticed it was decorated in pins.

"At that point we looked at it a little more closely and they were clearly military pins on it," said Lovell. "We kept it on the rest of our walk, brought it home and looked up online what they might mean."

The hat has an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm pin along with one for the Navy as well as a Desert Storm ribbon.

"I'm assuming whoever had these pins probably represented the Navy and was in those conflicts, but it also could've been a father or mother or sister or brother that they were honoring by putting their pins on their own hat," said Lovell.

Lovell posted it on Facebook the same day and since then it's had more than 1,000 shares.

"Coming from a family that has profound respect for the military and having family members, my dad and my wife's dad and several other family members, it just felt on the Fourth of July that it was something we had to do," said Lovell. "I know it's a long shot and who knows if we'll ever find the rightful owner, but I felt it was worth giving it a try."

If you recognize the hat or know who it might belong to, please call the Fox 17 Newsroom at (616)-364-1717 or send us a Facebook message.