RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Rodney Morgan arrived in Reno September 3, 2018, after being referred by Veterans Affairs in Sacramento. When he arrived he was told to check in his belongings at the Volunteers of America for safekeeping. He spent the night in a motel because of overflow at the shelter. A week later, when he returned for his backpack, he was told it had been thrown out.
"It meant a lot to me," Morgan says. "Everything in that bag meant a lot to me and you can't replace it. No amount of money can."
Morgan says the backpack contained his military records, family photos, a family Bible and a letter from his deceased brother.
"I always opened that letter and I read it when I was down because it gave me strength," Morgan says.
Morgan says he was given a clarity card so that he could reclaim his backpack and was shocked to learn it was gone.
"They told me my stuff was gone and I just broke down crying," he says.
Volunteers of America says they are conducting an investigation into the matter and are reviewing all video from September 3.
Here is their full statement:
"Volunteers of America is currently conducting a thorough investigation into Mr. Morgan ’s lost property. Management is reviewing all campus video from September 3, 2018, through the 10th. In addition, we are conducting interviews with staff to try to determine how Mr. Morgan’s property came into our possession and the chain of events that lead to the items being lost or stolen. We do know that the items were not thrown away.
"Once the investigation has concluded, we will be able to determine what the next steps are to help Mr. Morgan regain his possessions. VOA takes these matters very seriously and understands how important it is for Mr. Morgan to have these items returned."
Morgan says he wants the items replaced and wants to make sure that this never happens to anyone else.
"I was dependent on them to do what they said," Morgan says. "They had my phone number and address. I just can't believe they'd do that. I mean, who operated like that?"