CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you know anything about The Citadel, you know it doesn't offer the typical college experience. Their cadets work hard. A Charlotte woman, who asked to remain anonymous, knows that firsthand.
"That was the only application I ever put in for, and after that it was 'get your butt in shape,'" she said.
The woman is in an exclusive club of female Citadel graduates. She took home the prestigious diploma in 2013, but she also received something else to commemorate her time there.
"Even if it just becomes an ornament for your wall, it's a talking point, something you can be proud of whenever you have people over," she said.
It's a senior sword she used in countless drills and exhibitions with the chapel color guard. A prized possession that's now gone.
"I got that deer in the headlights look on my face, and I said, 'Brandon, my sword is gone,'" the woman said.
According to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police report, the sword was stolen from her boyfriend's car Friday morning, along with his stereo equipment, in the parking lot of a northeast Charlotte apartment complex. According to the report, the thieves popped the lock.
The woman says she was hoping to get the sword engraved, which is why it was in the car.
"Everything had to be earned at that school, and now it's just been taken away. And someone who didn't earn it has my sword and that's probably one of the more frustrating parts about it," she said.
For the alumnus, it's not about the object, but the hard work that went into getting the sword. A special token she believes the thieves don't understand nor deserve.
"I told myself I wasn't going to cry because it's silly to cry over something so simple," she said, "But it means a lot and I don't want them to have it."