$4.99 Purple Heart found in Arizona Goodwill belongs to Holts Summit family

1 year 4 months 2 days ago March 18, 2016 Mar 18, 2016 Friday, March 18 2016 Friday, March 18, 2016 2:59:00 PM CDT in News
By: Emma Balkenbush, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - When Laura Hardy stumbled across a World War II Purple Heart medal last Saturday in an Arizona Goodwill, she had no idea where it came from or how it got there. But she knew it needed to go back to its original owner

Hardy told KOMU 8 she went to Facebook to spread the word about the award, which was priced at $4.99.

She posted a picture of the medal and the name on the back, Eual H. Whiteman. Hardy said she received more than 5,000 shares on her post overnight and was up to 8,000 the next day. 

"I've always stayed away from Facebook, but I thought this was worth posting," Hardy said. "So many people reached out to help and it was Tina who finally solved the riddle." 

Hardy said she received a call Tuesday morning from Tina Cook, who runs the Veteran Buddy Finder Facebook page that works to connect veterans. Cook told Hardy after doing some research she was able to track the medal back to Phyllis Lawson, a resident of Holts Summit, Missouri. 

"I started working on it first thing in the morning and I found the connection, which is Phyllis," Cook said. 

Cook said she started her research with a genealogy website to get basic information about Eual such as when he was born and where his parents lived. 

"I also dug into newspapers.com and found his relatives' names and from there I found out he lived in Missouri," Cook said. 

Lawson declined to an interview with KOMU 8. 

Cook said Phyllis was excited about the find. She also said this is one of the most unique cases she has come across when trying to make connections between veterans. 

"It's always nice when I am able to reunite veterans. Some haven't talked to each other for forty or fifty years," Cook said. 

Hardy said she is going to ship the medal to Lawson Friday afternoon using priority mail.  

"We're not letting it get lost again," Hardy said. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A car chase wound through Columbia for miles on Thursday evening around 7 p.m. Multiple agencies got involved... More >>
6 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:11:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Joanthony Johnson, 27, was back in court Thursday for the second day in a row for his sentencing... More >>
7 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:55:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Williamsburg man was arrested on Thursday and accused of domestic assault, including pointing a rifle at... More >>
9 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 5:50:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Callaway County prosecutor to file criminal charges against Central Missouri... More >>
10 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 5:25:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he'll stop funding cuts for foster-care families that he approved earlier... More >>
10 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:58:41 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Chicago man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in... More >>
11 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:21:13 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Law enforcement officials are suing more than a dozen businesses in southwest Missouri suspected of being involved... More >>
11 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:51:43 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City Police Department confirmed Thursday that two teenagers were found dead in the Moreau River... More >>
11 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Flags will be at half-staff Friday on all state government buildings in St. Louis to honor... More >>
11 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:43:14 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A community based organization that provides tutoring services, dance classes, and other skills to children in Columbia is... More >>
12 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Welcome Home had the grand opening of its new facility Thursday morning. It offers 32 rooms with 34... More >>
13 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's order that Missouri taxpayers pay more than $156,000... More >>
13 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:42:54 PM CDT in News
ROLLA - A drug deal turned violent Wednesday night, leaving a woman hospitalized with a gunshot wound to her head.... More >>
16 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police are investigating a home invasion and armed robbery at the Campus View apartment complex Wednesday night.... More >>
17 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:07:00 AM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities say three people have been wounded in a shooting at a St. Joseph apartment complex.... More >>
18 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:18:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 27-year-old St. Louis jail inmate is hospitalized in critical condition after being found beaten in... More >>
18 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:06:00 AM CDT in News
SULLIVAN, Mo. (AP) — Thousands of ticks have been collected for testing from a Missouri park after a worker died... More >>
18 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:42:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - If you live in southwest Columbia, the city has a suggested watering schedule that might affect you. ... More >>
18 hours ago July 20, 2017 Jul 20, 2017 Thursday, July 20 2017 Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:35:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
4am 78°
5am 77°
6am 77°
7am 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00a
Mad Money
4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld