Navy Veteran’s Ashes Are Returned To Family After Being Found In Dumpster

An urn containing the ashes of a veteran of the United States Navy were returned to his family in Delaware this past week. The urn, which contained the remains of U.S. Navy Seal Ronald Lee Pruitt, were found by construction worker Shane Hanna.

He brought the urn to his home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania before turning it over to Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3376.“I realized this was an urn, so there’s no way I was leaving it in the dumpster,” Hanna said. “Especially because it had a Navy seal insignia on it.”

Dwayne Mackenzie, the post commander, explained that VFW officials then tracked down Pruitt’s sister, Barbara Dixon, in Delaware.

“I found his obituary and our post quartermaster did some research and actually found the funeral home that had cremated him,” Mackenzie said.

Dixon was incredibly touched by all that was done to help get her brother’s remains back to the family.

“It is a Christmas miracle. It’s a miracle that all these people went above and beyond to find me,” she said.

Pruitt passed away in 1996, and his remains had initially gone to another sister, who died a few years later. It is not known how the remains ended up in the dumpster.

“He was a real sweetheart … died too young,” Dixon said, adding that “guardian angels” had brought her brother back to her.