Caitlin "Cait" Shields '11 November 26, 2018 12:29 PM updated: November 28, 2018 5:24 PM
Aggies watch out for one another wherever they go, a sentiment Emily Siemens ’05 experienced firsthand when a fellow Ag found her long-lost Aggie Ring in a pawn shop and made sure it found its way home.
It’s here! It’s here! After 14 years...my original Aggie ring is back on my hand, thanks to another former Aggie who saw an Aggie Ring and bought it at a Pawn Shop! @AggieNetwork @TAMU pic.twitter.com/DUi0UxQUjv— Emily (@ateacherwife) November 28, 2018
Since spring break of 2004, I have been without my original Aggie Ring. I lost it on a mission trip while serving with my church while at Texas A&M in a town called Mission, TX. I remember being devastated losing it and having to call my parents that it was gone and my Dad graciously telling me he’d pay for another ring... but at the time, it pained my heart losing such a special piece of jewelry.
Fast forward to today, 14 years later, when I get the text message you see [above]. Gina Riojas ’11 who is part of my extended Aggie family, lives in Mission. She and her husband were at a pawn shop and “saw an Aggie ring.” She tells me later she couldn’t [bear] seeing an Aggie ring in a pawn shop because she knew, “Aggies don’t sell their rings!” She said she ended up leaving without the ring, but kept thinking about it and ended up going back with her husband and bought the ring. (Later telling me for $250)! [Siemens insisted on repaying Riojas, including shipping.] She looked inside the ring and looked the name up on The Association of Former Students [directory] and found my information.
She and I have connected on Facebook and they will mail my ring this week. Aggies - I hope that you will share this post so that you can help me thank Gina for her act of TRUE Aggie spirit. There is nothing, NOTHING like the spirit of Aggies.
Gina is also taking her son to have heart surgery in early December and I’d love for our Aggie family to rally around her and send prayers for them. Will you help me do that for Gina and her family?!
#aggiespirit #whoop #goodstillexists #associationofformerstudents #aggies
Riojas believes she was meant to see that Ring so she could unite it with Siemens.
"First off when I saw the Aggie Ring I couldn't believe it," Riojas said. "I knew there had to be some mistake because I know an Aggie would never pawn their Ring and if they did, if they truly found themselves in a difficult time, then the least I could do is reunite the owner with her Ring. An Aggie Ring is an incredible symbol of the excellence, integrity, loyalty, leadership, respect and selfless service."
Siemens said: "It still doesn't feel real. Fourteen years is a long time to go without something, but you always hear these crazy stories about how Aggies get their Rings back... now it's happening to me. It's so surreal, but it has restored my faith in humanity. I wish there was more I could do to say thank you to Gina. She'll never know how much I appreciate her and her Aggie spirit."
Riojas' son, Wyatt, 1, was born with a congenital heart defect and is having open heart surgery, his second, on Dec. 4 at Driscoll Children's hospital in Corpus Christi. "We appreciate all the prayers and well wishes," Riojas said.
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