Purple Heart reunited with Ohio vet’s family after lost in a move

The medal was lost while moving house, and the family says its return gives them a sense of healing.

TOLEDO, Ohio – A Purple Heart medal is finally back in the hands of a local veteran family after being lost for nearly a decade.

Private First Class Vincent Joseph Chavez was killed in North Korea when he was only 26 years old.

In an emotional ceremony, Carmen Mary Chavez received her father’s purple heart, which was lost eight years ago in a move.

“”[It’s a] very special day. I am just so grateful and honored. And I just can’t thank Erin enough for bringing this to me, “Carmen said.

Carmen was only 8 months old when her father was killed. She and her family received the medal in Calvary Cemetery, where his father is buried, after someone returned the Purple Heart to her through the Purple Hearts Reunited non-profit organization.

“”[It’s] I had been thinking for a while that I had lost the medal. And now it has come to my home. And I’m just so grateful. I’m so happy. This is something special. A special day, “said Carmen.

“It is gratifying that someone would take the time to find and give back what my cousin lost or was stolen from,” added Cecelia McHaffie, PFC’s niece Vincent J Chavez.

It is also a representation of the sacrifices the Chavez family made for our country.

“This is a service family that immigrated to this country, and PFC Chavez was of course killed in the Korean War. His brother died on duty in 1945. There are dozens of the Chavez family who have been or are on duty,” said Erin Faith Allen, Operations Director for Purple Hearts Reunited.

The meaning of the purple heart can be felt deep in the heart of this daughter, with pride in the father she never knew.

“It makes me so proud of him. So proud. And dear, you know, and I wish I could have met him. You know, I always had this lost feeling inside me. But now I don’t feel lost anymore.” “said Carmen with a smile on her face.

Purple Hearts Reunited has returned medals and other items to more than 850 families, museums and houses of honor.

They keep a database of missing medals and you can contact them if you are looking for one.

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