GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "This is ridiculous. This is stupid to have so many things literally ripped away from you," said Iraq war veteran Mat Crosby.
Crosby and his wife Gina Hamm recently lost their most precious possessions all in one night.
The couple and their three children, who are in the process of moving from Tacoma, Wash., to South Mississippi to be closer to family, placed their belongings in a storage unit on Washington Avenue in Gulfport on March 1.
"We came down with our little trailer, so the things we had were the things that really mattered," said Hamm.
But on March 14, thieves reportedly broke into the storage unit and ransacked it.
"When we got here everything was torn apart; every box," said Hamm.
Thieves made off with household items, computers and heirlooms belonging to the couple's children. However, they say the most painful loss was Crosby's military mementos: 13 ribbons, more than 20 medals, achievement certificates, orders signed by his commanding officers and photos.
"They have no value. They can't sell them. They can't do anything with them. They're probably in a dumpster somewhere and that's what's heartbreaking," said Hamm. "Something somebody's going to throw away, but means the world to us."
The thieves also took Crosby's medical and personnel records, documents the disabled Army veteran needs for visits to the VA and for disability benefits. Twenty years of military memories are gone, but the couple continues to have faith.
"If they know anything, please step forward. For those that are involved, I dare you to do the right thing," said Crosby.
Hamm added, "With the sentimental things, I'm hoping somebody somewhere will be able to say something to the people responsible so they will return the things that we can't replace."
The couple believes a dark SUV seen in the facility's surveillance video was involved in the crime. Two other units at the same storage facility were also hit Monday night.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Gulfport Police Department at (228)868-5959, contact Crime Stoppers at www.mscoastcrimestoppers.com or by telephone at (877)787-5898 or text CSTIP plus your message to 274637(CRIMES).