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Rutherford trying to reunite vets with lost medals

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois treasurer Dan Rutherford is trying to reunite veterans and their families with lost military medals, ribbons, dog tags and paperwork that was left in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes.

Rutherford said his office has 110 unclaimed medals collected from boxes, including 16 Purple Hearts. One medal even dates back to the Spanish American War.

He said some of the material may have been put in a safe-deposit box by people who eventually died or who have since moved.

Rutherford’s working to connect the medals with their former owners through a program called Operation Reunite.

A website for the effort can be found at treasurer.il.gov. The Operation Reunite section lists people last connected with the boxes.

Rutherford said he hopes someone will recognize the names, so the items can be returned.

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