PORTLAND -- As Matt Rensi cooks dinner in his Southeast Portland home, he is miles and years removed from his three tours of duty overseas.
“It was wonderful and terrible,” he said. “I’d never want to go through it again.”
He may not, but Rensi certainly wants to remember it. He scribbled his innermost thoughts, while on active duty, in a journal.
“It’s stuff that I’m losing up here and it’s there,” he said.
The journal was in the trunk of Rensi’s car, but either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning the car was stolen from outside Rensi’s home near Southeast 78th Avenue and Salmon Street. Cops found the car blocks away, but it had been ransacked. The journal was gone.
“I’ve only looked at two or three pages,” said Rensi. “I’ve never read through it.”
Neither had Rensi’s wife. He was hoping to give the journal to her as a gift someday.
“It’s hard to see that and know that we may not get that back, and to see him so upset about it,” said Amanda Rensi.
Rensi does have reminders of his days in Iraq, but the awards do not begin to explain what he went through. The journal does.
“I won’t press charges,” said Rensi. “I just want my journal back.”
The journal has a picture by artist Thomas Kinkade on the front cover. If you find it, contact Portland police.