Check back frequently for updates and stories about newly-returned hearts and medals.
Once Purple Hearts Reunited locates a veteran or their family,
Plans are made to either send back the medal directly or to establish a date and time to conduct a “Return Ceremony.” Purple Hearts Reunited will travel to the veteran’s hometown or the home of their family to conduct these events. Events can be either open to the public or a private family gathering and media attendance is optional. Ceremonies generally last no more than an hour. Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart are usually in attendance to talk about the history of the Purple Heart. Federal and State representatives can be invited to attend and speak in honor of the veteran. Families generally speak about their loved one and share their fondest memories.
Purple Hearts Reunited will then conclude the ceremony by attempting to honor the veteran’s sacrifice to our nation with a short memorial and presenting the medals back to the family. These ceremonies are at no cost to the veteran or the family.
If for some reason a veteran or family cannot be found, Purple Hearts Reunited will find the medal a home of honor, such as a museum. Donations to museums are generally public events and we encourage the local community to attend.
PFC Bruce Klein
On 16 January, 2015, at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, Purple Hearts Reunited presented 90-year-old Bruce Klein with the Bronze Star he didn’t know he was entitled to until recently. Klein had requested replacement medals, but they were lost along the way and finally found in a filing cabinet by the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s Cynthia Tesch.
SPC Charles Wayne O’Brien
On 24 June 2016 at 3pm, a special ceremony occurred at FDNY Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 located at 48th Street and 8th Street, New York, NY 10036.
SP4 Craig E. Hampton
On 12 February 2016 at 3pm, the lost Purple Heart of Vietnam Hero SP4 Craig E. Hampton was returned at his home in Hesperian, CA.
CPL Richmond L. Litman
On Sunday, 29 March 2015, Purple Hearts Reunited presented a lost Purple Heart medal to the family of Korean War veteran CPL Richmond Litman. PHR and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) hosted a public ceremony to honor the service and sacrifice of CPL Litman. The lost medal was dug up by a dog named Smuckers, and she and owners Steve Jankousky and Tom Unterwagner were in attendance to turn the medal over to its rightful owner, Ms. Leatra Plick, who accepted her step-father’s lost Purple Heart.
PVT Daniel Quinlan
In honor of Memorial Day 2015, the nonprofit organization Purple Hearts Reunited conducted a public ceremony for WWI veteran PVT Daniel William Quinlan on Friday, 22 May 2015. The ceremony took place at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (NPHHOH) in New Windsor, NY.