Now she is hoping to return these priceless memories to the owner.
Cathleene De La Cruz said she was walking by an apartment building near I-17 and Bethany Home Road when she spotted the photo albums in a crate, next to a dumpster.
The photos appeared to document a soldier's tour of duty in Japan. Some are sightseeing photos, but most are of servicemen from 1945 to 1946. There are even pictures of the first Army Day Parade celebrated after the end of World War II in downtown Tokyo.
"Just walking with my head down of course, and I seen these like in a crate with junk papers, with plastic. I'm big on photo albums, so I picked them up, and I seen pictures of soldiers or what not, and then there's writing underneath. At first I thought I oh ok this is cool, and then I read what was said underneath and it said rebuilding of Tokyo and dates like April 6th, 1946... and I think that's awesome, just all kinds of things and then there's just in this one too it had a first and last names of people. I wanted to find the person it belonged to. Somebody may really want these, and their family or what not," said Cathleene De La Cruz.
"If they belong to someone then yeah I'd love to give it back to them to. I'd love for someone to give photos back to me, them back because they're memories. Sometimes people say one person's garbage is another person's treasure, so there you go," she said.
De La Cruz said she's not sure what to do with the albums, but may seek out a historical society to help her find the owner.