WHITMAN, MASS. (WHDH) - A marine who lost his Marine Corps graduation ring over Memorial Day weekend quickly got it returned with the help of a good Samaritan and Whitman police. 

Later speaking with 7NEWS, the marine said he is thankful to have the ring back. 

The ring, officials said, was turned in by someone who found it in a local park. Police immediately posted pictures of the item online, showing the ring and its engravings, including the 1945 flag raising on Iwo Jima on one side and an image of Tun Tavern on the other – the Philadelphia tavern believed to have held the first-ever recruitment drive for what would become the USMC in 1775.

Inside was an engraving of a recent graduation date. 

“It’s important that the person who found it actually took the time to walk it across the street and bring it to us and the person that dropped this ring earned this ring and we should try to reunite them,” said Whitman police Lieutenant Daniel Connolly.

In addition to the post on social media, Connolly said he called a marine recruiter in Brockton who matched a single name to Whitman Hanson High School.

22-year-old Lance Corporal Wanyoike Wainaina soon had his ring back.

“It was a relief because, while I was in college, I remember my old dog tags, I lost them and they never showed up, but here in Whitman after a few days it showed up instantly,” Wainaina said. “It really showed me there’s something special about Whitman.”

Wainaina said he lost the ring during a game of basketball played on the same court where he’s been playing since he was a child. 

On Tuesday, Wainaina thanked those involved in getting the ring back on his finger.

“Thank you very much,” he said. “It means a lot.”

“It’s great to have a happy ending finally for something,” Connolly said.

Wainaina said he’ll be heading to summer training in California soon. 

He is hoping to get deployed by 2026.

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