Two NWTC Automotive students find missing wedding ring

Joe Burkard looked everywhere. He couldn’t find it. “ I tore that Jeep apart nine years ago,” said Burkard.
It was his wedding ring. It was gone, he lost his wedding ring. As Burkard said, “his wife never let him forget it.” He thought the ring was gone forever.
Until this fall (nine years later),  he brought his Jeep into the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Automotive Technician Lab. Students in the College’s Automotive programs repair and conduct maintenance on cars and trucks for customers in Northeast Wisconsin. It's actually a win win for students and customers because Automotive students get valuable hands-on experience while also providing a service to customers.
While working on Burkard’s Jeep, two Automotive Technician students, Alex Breider and Brent Johnson, found the wedding ring while they took apart the center console. Alex Breider and Brent Johnson find customer's missing wedding ring.

"The ring was actually sitting near the parking brake cable," Johnson said. "We both saw it right away."

Breider said, "I said that looks expensive. That's not something you want to lose." The pair It's probably the craziest thing they have ever found while fixing a customer's car. 

The pair set the ring aside at first. "We really didn't know what it was at first, but we know they would want it back," Breider said.

They set it on the seat with other personal items. Once the Jeep was fixed and put back together, Breider and Johnson put the ring in the cup holder.

"We left it as a surprise," Johnson said.

"When I picked it up, I couldn’t believe my eyes," Burkard said. "My mind started racing as to where it came from. Then it dawned on me that whoever worked on my Jeep must’ve found it and placed it there."

Burkard called his wife and said he had a surprise for her.  

He said, "When she got home, I told her to close her eyes while I held my hand out (with my ring on). She was overjoyed. She also teased me about getting it re-sized so that it stayed on my hand going forward."

The Burkards are incredibly grateful to the students who found the ring. "To have the ring back is truly a beautiful gift," he said.

Joe sent an email to instructor sharing his gratitude and thanking the students who returned his lost and now found wedding ring.

Breider and Johnson saw the email hanging up on the whiteboard in class the next day. "I walked and saw the email, it was fantiastic. It's pretty cool to see," Johnson said.  "I came in and saw the email. It was pretty cool. You don't see that everyday," Breider said.

In 2020 and during a time of uncertenty, we hope this story and all our stories bring joy and a smile to your day.