A long-lost Purple Heart medal was sent to the Newark, OH great-nephew of WWI veteran SGT Frank Holsten, with help from the social media post and Purple Hearts Reunited. Ms. Tish Harmon Bernath, of Shelby, OH, found the medal, along with other military artifacts, when cleaning out her apartment, and posted a photograph on Facebook, looking for help finding SGT Holsten’s family. PHR founder Zachariah Fike was able to research SGT Holsten’s background and locate family members to receive the medal. Mr. Rick Lanthorn of Newark, OH received his great-uncle’s lost Purple Heart, and plans to bronze the medal and affix it to SGT Holden’s grave.
Frank Holsten was born on 06 February 1893 in Eureka, OH, the son of Charles E. Holsten and Elizabeth M. Goolden Holsten and sibling to six brothers and three sisters. Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army on 20 June 1917 (SN 92880), and served in World War I with Company B, 166th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division. SGT Holsten was at Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonee: Defensive Sector. On 28 July 1918 SGT Holsten was wounded in action. He was discharged on 17 May 1919, and lived in OH with his wife Edna Holsten. SGT Holsten died at the age of 74 on 18 October 1967.
Ms. Bernath found the medal two decades ago and, on 25 February 2015, decided to use Facebook as a tool to locate the Holsten family or someone who knew them. Many Facebook users shared the story with Zachariah Fike, the founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, a charity that seeks to return lost or stolen medals to their rightful owners. Fike began researching SGT Holsten’s service records and genealogy. Meanwhile, in the course of the search, an article was posted online in the Richland Source, and less than half an hour after publication, coincidentally, Fike received a call back from Judi Holsten Guizado, SGT Holsten’s grand-niece. She was connected with her first cousin Rick Lanthorn, whom she had never met, and helped to make arrangements to get the lost Purple Heart shipped to him in Newark, OH. The medal will now be on display at the AmVets Post at Buckeye Lake, OH.
Read the story in the Richland Source >> 20 Minutes Later: WWI Purple Heart Recipient Found Via Facebook Post
Another news story from ABC 6 >> World War I Purple Heart Missing for Decades Returned to Family