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(KDKA) — It’s Purple Heart Day, recognizing the oldest military medal still awarded to service men and women who are injured or killed in the line of duty.
But some Pennsylvanians are missing their medals.
“One kind of tangible property that we never dispose of and that’s military medals because they obviously represent the service and sacrifice of Pennsylvanians,” PA Treasurer Joe Torsella told KDKA on Tuesday.
“And our view is that they really belong back in the hands of the people and families who would treasure them.”
Torsella says his office holds 16 unclaimed Purple Heart medals and 18 Purple Heart pins, ribbons and other related decorations.
Since Torsella took office less than two years ago, Treasury has returned 40 service decorations, including four Purple Hearts.
“We recently returned or are about to return a Purple Heart to a 94-year old World War II veteran in California who served in the Battle of the Bulge,” said Torsella.
But his office still has over 500 unclaimed military awards.
Under state law, unclaimed property — including abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks, the contents of safety deposit boxes and the like — are stored by the Treasurer’s office.
And it takes some detective work to track down the owners.
“There’s almost always some detective work involved in figuring out, particularly for the older ones that have been at treasury for decades — a lot of detective work in figuring out who they belong to.”
To see if any of the $3 billion worth of unclaimed property, including military medals, are being held by the Treasury, search the Treasury’s website, or call 1-800-222-2046. The Treasury can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.