WASHINGTON - Thanks to several calls and tips, a Marine has now been identified after a man found a camera in 2008 that is filled with photos from the Marine's time in Iraq.
FOX 5 DC has been in contact with Marine Ben Zellmann after a man found his camera nine years ago.
Zellmann will be on FOX 5 Plus Sunday at 8 p.m.
Matt Walker and his landscaping team found the smashed camera on the side of the road along Calvert Street just off of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest D.C. one afternoon back in 2008.
Zellmann tells FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco that his computer and camera were stolen from his home and he never thought he'd see the photos again, especially after all this time.
“I’ve never been in the military, but by the photos, I can feel what they were going through and this is why it makes it some important to give it back to him,” Walker said.
While the Nokia camera was destroyed, Walker found the memory card intact. On the memory card was 300 irreplaceable photos that gave a glimpse into the life of the Marine.
Each photo providing a clue. His uniform reads Zellmann and he attended a ball or gala.
He attended a Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys game with friends or family.
It also appears he was deployed to the Alasad Airbase in Iraq and, at one point, met with children there. And, of course, there were several photos of training.
“Loading up on airplanes, C30s, the helicopters,” Walker described. “What it looked like to me was that he was a gunner on top of a Humvee.”
For the past nine years, Walker said he’s tried to find Zellmann with no luck until now.
“I’ve contacted recruiters, I’ve contacted Marine buddies trying to figure out how to get this back to him, but nothing,” Walker said. “I️ know he’d want it back. He did a tour, that’s probably a onetime thing and it looks like he survived because he was at the Washington (Redskins) game, I’m not sure if that was before or after but if it was me I’d be sure I’d want them back.”
As the U.S. Marine Corps celebrates its 242nd birthday and the nation marks Veterans Day, Walker said he was inspired to reach out to FOX 5 and thanks to the many calls, we've been able to track him down.
The two men will be on FOX 5 Plus at 8 p.m. to meet and Walker will be able to return the memory card to Zellmann.