Harrington Park, New Jersey joined countless others across the country on 26 May 2014 and marked Memorial Day with the town’s annual parade. Local marching bands and children took part, as did the many Veterans.
Among them, 89 year old Miles Ward Greer, a familiar face in this parade. This year he said was made even more special after receiving an unexpected phone call from Captain Zachariah Fike, an active duty Vermont Guardsman.
Captain Fike was on a mission. He started the Purple Hearts Reunited organization about 3 years ago, collecting abandoned or displaced purple hearts and bringing them back to the families who they belong to and
Memorial Day was Greer’s turn.
“I think it’s very nice. I even said god bless you because that’s how I felt,” said Greer.
The purple heart belonged to Greer’s first cousin, George Tate Greer Junior of Virginia. The two were both stationed in Asia during World War II. Miles Greer in the Philippines and George Tate Greer near Okinawa.
“I got a letter from his mother who knew I was already in the Philippines said wouldn’t it be nice if George Tate and I could get together and then about three days later I got a letter from my mother and she said he had been killed in action off of Okinawa,” remembered Greer.
The medal of honor has now found its way back to George Greer’s only living relative.
It was Greer’s wish to have the medal framed and displayed somewhere in Roanake where his cousin was from, but before it is, Greer would have the opportunity to see it in his town.