MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The non-profit, Purple Hearts Reunited made a trip to Myrtle Beach to return a WWII veteran’s Purple Heart to his family members.
The medal was purchased by a stranger at a Florida flea market and given to Purple Hearts Reunited in hopes that the group could find its rightful owner.
The group used ancestry to find Laurie DiLorenzo, the niece of Purple Heart recipient, Sgt. Frank Webb.
Webb was killed at 22 years old during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.
“I guess we should have assumed because of his service that he had a Purple Heart but we certainly had no idea where it was or whether it would turn out,” DiLorenzo said.
DiLorenzo says she was surprised when Purple Hearts Reunited asked if she was interested in keeping the medal.
Jessica Jaggars, member of the military and operations director of Purple Hearts Reunited traveled from Vermont to hand-deliver the Purple Heart to DiLorenzo.
“There’s so many levels of what we do, and when it comes to the interaction with the family or even the veteran in some cases which we’ve done, it’s cathartic. You’re bringing a tangible piece back to the family but it comes along with so many intangible items that you just can’t put a price tag on,” Jaggars said.
So far the group has made 650 returns to veterans, their families and homes of honor.
“I think a lot of times families now lose their history, and we’re spread all over the United States, we’re not close, you don’t get those family stories like you did I think generations ago, so I think it’s important to keep those stories alive and this certainly helps us to do that,” DiLorenzo said.