BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - Imagine losing a precious piece of family history with no hope of getting it back. Thankfully, a new Missouri state law aims to connect families to their military pasts.
The Military Medal Return Bill allows the state to publish the names of owners of treasured military awards. Many of these awards were handed over to the state from safety deposit boxes.
The banks and other businesses couldn't track down the owners. The hope is that the valuable military honors earned by our nation's veterans make their way into the hands where they belong.
Less than one week ago, Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel released the names of the owners of 120 unclaimed military medals. The names and medals are posted on the State Treasure's website and include items from old photographs to unclaimed Purple Hearts.
About a month ago, Dale Edwards of Blue Springs, Mo., got a phone call that changed his life.
"It was a strange call, you know? I said ‘Okay, I don't remember any safety deposit box.' They said, ‘Well, it's got your name on it,'" Edwards said.
In that safety deposit box was a Marksmanship Badge, a military honor of his father-in-law who served in Germany during World War II.
Edwards, who is also a veteran, said he feels like he won the lottery. Edwards is happy to be holding onto a piece of history from a family member who served the country.
"They went through hell and high water to survive and come back home," he said.
For a full list of lost awards, honors and memorabilia visit the State Treasurer's website here: http://on.mo.gov/14m9Z2K