WILLIAMSBURG, Va (WVEC) -- The Purple Heart is one of the highest and most recognizable honors awarded to service members. So when a Williamsburg woman found what appears to be one and several other military medals she contacted 13News Now for help reuniting them with their owner.
“It was a good thing I got out,” says Teresa Humphrey about grabbing the storage bin full of free Christmas items sitting on a curb in Williamsburg's Carver Gardens neighborhood.
“I found more than I bargained for,” she says.
Underneath the gift wrap and decorations she found a small box with what appears to be nearly one dozen military medals, ribbons and pins, including a Purple Heart
“And I'm like oh my God,” she says. “That's a high honor.”
It’s also awarded to those who are killed or wounded during combat.
“I knew that this was something that was very important to whoever it belongs to,” she says.
She contacted Fort Eustis and the Department of Veteran's Affairs for help.
“It was like a dead end,” she says.
So she contacted us and we contacted the founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, Captain Zach Fike. He says it may be more difficult though reuniting this particular purple heart with its owner.
“Because this medal is not engraved literally it would be almost impossible to find the original owner,” he says.
Maybe, if it weren't for the other medals, which he says belongs to an Army infantry soldier who would have enlisted in either 1942 or 1943 and served in two campaigns during the Philippine liberation.
“During that service he was wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart medal,” he says.
The Combat Infantry Badge tells us he not only engaged in enemy fire, but was also entitled to the Bronze Star Fike says.
“Because he was awarded the CIB he would have gotten the bronze star later in life,” he says.
“It's priceless. It's priceless,” Humphrey says.
Hopefully though this information will help reunite these priceless possessions to their rightful owner.
“Thank you,” Humphrey says to Captain Fike. “And keep us in your prayers that we find this family.”
If you have any information about who these items might belong to please contact 13News Now at firstname.lastname@example.org.