Illinois seeks return 11 Purple Hearts to their rightful owners

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP) – The State of Illinois wants the public to help return nearly a dozen Purple Heart Medals to their rightful owners.

The medals are awarded to members of the United States military who are injured or killed while in service. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said the 11 medals each were left in a bank safe that has remained intact for years. The treasurer’s office received them as part of the office’s unclaimed property program after the owners could not be found.

“These medals personify honor, sacrifice and duty,” said Frerichs. “They belong to the loving care of families rather than hidden inside our cold cellar in the basement.”

His office on Thursday released a list of surnames associated with the safe, the date the medal was registered with the state treasurer’s office and the location of the bank. They include several banks in Illinois and one in Portland, Oregon.

Frerichs has asked anyone who may have a lead on locating a veteran or his family to contact his office.

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