Air Force graduate missing class ring
July 28, 2011
A class ring serves as a record of achievement and time capsule for memories.
To Charles Allen, a Defense Threat Reduction Agency employee, the milestone jewelry item represents even more. It symbolizes the appreciation a family has for their father. Allen received his 1965 United States Air Force Academy class ring as a gift in honor of his 45th anniversary as a graduate last year.
“My family decided it would be a present that dad would really like,” said Allen, who is an advisory and assistance support contractor for DTRA. “And, they were so right.”
Sadly, he lost the personal gift somewhere between the post commissary and his DTRA office about two weeks ago.
“I’m just sick,” said Allen, who is offering a reward for the ring’s return. “I feel like I’m walking around naked.”
He characterized the ring as being fairly large with the Air Force Shield mounted on it and his name, graduating year and class inscribed. He said it also has a blue sapphire star on it that lights up in room and sunlight.
This is the second class ring that has disappeared from his sight since graduating.
He said he would be forever indebted to whoever returned the ring that contains family and personal value.
Allen, the oldest of five siblings, graduated from USAFA with degrees in astronautics, area engineering and basic science, finishing with 224 credits.
“I went there when there were no girls. There was nothing else to do,” said Allen, providing a humor-intended excuse for his thirst for knowledge. “I have used every bit of that education.”
He received his original class ring heading into his senior year. It represented that he and his fellow classmates had the potential to go into the world and be great people.
Misfortune struck him and his family in 1983 when it was stolen from his home. His wife’s engagement ring, which was a miniature version of his class ring, was stolen as well.
At the time, Allen thought it was more important to tend to his family, so he bought a wedding band for his wife and used the insurance from his ring to provide for his young children.
Years later, his children repaid the favor by giving him one of the best gifts he could he ever ask for.
“I wore it religiously on my right hand,” said Allen, speaking of the replacement ring he received last year.
One of the only times he would take it off was to play handball in Graves Fitness Center. He said he would immediately put it back on afterward.
On the day he lost it, however, his hand was swollen, so he put the ring on his middle finger and entered the commissary for groceries. He made it back to work before realizing it was gone and tried retracing his steps, to no avail.
Allen desperately wants to locate it before he has to tell his children the bad news.
“My wife says replace it without telling them,” said Allen, who doesn’t like that idea. “The more important thing is that this is the one my family gave me.”
Allen, who is also an ordained minister, understands through his church experiences that his lost ring isn’t the worst problem a person could have. But, finding it would make him feel a lot better than he does right now.
If you’ve seen a ring that is similar to the one described in this story, contact Allen at (703)767-6605.