MADISON, Ala - Autumn Lorenz-Peterson traveled with her family out of Huntsville International en route to Washington D.C. around Thanksgiving when the family lost a small printed photo.
The picture shows Lorenz-Peterson with her 2-year-old, Anna. Lorenz-Peterson is wearing her military uniform.
Brandon Ray of New Hope found the picture as he made his way to New York. When he saw the woman in uniform, he instantly wondered if she was deployed. It's not uncommon for troops to carry printed family photographs on them.
"I come from a military family, my father was in the military, my father-in-law. Three of my brothers. I understand how it works," said Ray.
It turns out Lorenz-Peterson, a Major in Alabama's Air National Guard who also works for Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, was not deployed. However, she lives in Madison and spends the majority of the year traveling for work. Her husband is also a Colonel at Redstone Arsenal.
The family printed a photo out for Anna. In case their daughter missed mommy.
"I thought it was a good idea. I'll start having pictures. As she grows up, she'll have them to look at when she misses me," said Lorenz-Peterson.
When Ray turned to WHNT for help finding the owner of the family photo, we posted the picture on social media. Within a few hours, it was shared roughly 400 times. Our inboxes were flooded with tips and screenshots. One of them, a picture very similar to the lost one, showed Lorenz-Peterson with her daughter.
"I had all of these Facebook requests. I was like ah, this makes sense," said Lorenz-Peterson.
Although we all have pictures at our fingertips, a physical printed copy usually means something to someone. And for that, Lorenz-Peterson is grateful that Ray stopped in the middle of a busy airport, with a flight to catch, just to help relocate the owner of a lost photo.
"Pay it forward. Find kindness somewhere else and pay it forward," said Lorenz-Peterson.