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Quilt carried off by Tennessee tornado returned to family

April 24 (UPI) -- A Tennessee family was reunited with a beloved military quilt more than a week after it was carried off by a tornado.

Beulah Lockmiller's Chattanooga home was destroyed April 12 when a tornado swept through the area, and her family discovered after the storm that the dresser that contained a sentimental quilt had been carried away by the twister.

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The quilt belonged to Beulah's husband, Larry, who died about 10 years ago. The quilt contained patches and photos from places he visited during his military deployment, as well as poem he wrote while in Saudi Arabia, the family said.

A photo of the missing quilt was posted on Facebook, where it was recognized by Times Free Press photographer Troy Stolt, who had snapped a photo of the quilt amid other wreckage two days after the tornado. Stolt returned to the spot where he took the picture, but the quilt was gone.

The family was then tipped off to another Facebook post from a woman named Pilar Estrada, who was attempting to find the owner of a quilt recovered from wreckage by her son, Aaron, while he was assisting with clean-up operations.

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"It's kind of unbelievable just like everything else that's happened this week, but I'm just so excited," Beulah Lockmiller told the Times Free Press. "To think that someone had a heart to return it just means a lot to me."

The quilt was returned to the family Thursday.

Lockmiller said she plans to take extra special care of the quilt after its long journey.

"I don't know where I'm gonna put it," she told CNN. "I'm gonna protect it so if I have to put it in a 5,000-pound safe."

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