Lost Purple Heart from World War One reunited with family

If not for the non-profit Purple Hearts Reunited, Donna McDonald might never have received the Purple Heart awarded to her great, great grandfather, Cpl. Reed E. Clark.

He was awarded the medal in 1943, 25 years after being wounded in the hand by shrapnel in 1918.

A meeting with a group of former marines for lunch in Dallas saw the return of the Purple Heart after a year-long search to return the medal back to the Clark family.

His extended family had no inkling of the medal’s whereabouts until it turned up in an Idaho thrift shop.

The proprietor called Purple Hearts United who thereafter donated a year to researching it until they found MacDonald.  Not only was the medal returned, but also her grandfather’s dog tags from the Second World War.

Mitchell Bell, a retired Marine, and a member of Purple Hearts Reunited said if a serviceman is wounded, he has raised his hand to serve the United States. The Purple Heart is important because it shows the blood, sweat, and tears given in service to his country.

Unfortunately, not all medals make it back home. They are bought and sold online, and it’s completely legal, khou.com reported.

Selling them on eBay does not sit well with Bell, it belongs to the family, he said.

It is going to be very neat to have that piece of her great-grandfather, said McDonald, and to take it home to her family.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE