Workers at Coastal Bend DME, a medical supply store in Corpus Christi, were surprised and saddened to find one of the business’ dumpsters crammed full of a Marine veteran’s belongings this week.
“This guy’s whole life is just sitting in this dumpster and we don’t know why,” store worker Damien Willis said.
‘This guy’ is likely Jay Jay Janabahal according to a face plate for the US Marshalls Service found in the dumpster. Among the items dumped is Janabahal’s Marine dress uniform and cap; video tapes of his football-playing days in high school and college in California along with his helmet and team posters; and military issued bags and journals.
“We take our veterans very seriously, and we felt like this has been a disgrace, and very disrespectful to do something like this one day before Veterans Day.” Coastal Bend DME employee Alfonso Garza said.
Just before 6:00 p.m. Saturday, surveillance video at the store shows a dark Ford F150 pick-up pull up to the dumpster and later pull away. The cameras did not record the driver presumably exit the truck and put Janabahal’s belongings in the dumpster, because his small size in comparison to the truck did not trigger the camera’s motion sensors.
“I kind of want to find who did this and ask them, ‘why?’,” Willis said. “There’s no reason anybody should do this.”
Willis, Garza, and other store workers are scouring Facebook and reaching out to anyone who could have known Janabahal to return his belongings to him and to try and find out why this happened. They hope news reporting of this story turns up new information, and they encourage you to email any tips you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s just heartbreaking to see something like that,” Garza said. “Let’s just hope we can get to the bottom of it, and we’ll go from there.”