Purple Heart And Wartime Relics Returned To Ohio Family Long Years After World War One

Purple heart
Purple heart

An Ohio family is very pleased with the return of their grandfather’s Purple Heart, presented to them recently after miles, and years, of separation.

Carl Bond’s family wasn’t aware the medal existed – or was gone – until an emissary of Purple Hearts Reunited contacted them.

Bond’s World War I Victory Medal, dog tags, and shrapnel taken from his combat wound were returned with the Purple Heart to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums.

Approximately 20 family members, flanked by district veterans and other community members, attended the event.  U.S. Army Maj. Zachariah Fike, who works with Purple Hearts Reunited, presented the items to the soldier’s grandson, Jeff Bond, 49, of Fremont.

For him, it was an emotional day.  Such an honor, he said.  He remembers his father thought himself a hero, so the children, naturally, thought of him as one too.

Pvt. Carl Ivan Bond was born in Noble County in 1895.  In 1917, he registered for the draft and was badly wounded by a land mine on Oct. 14, 1918, in Meuse-Argonne.  Following his discharge in 1919, he returned to Ohio, where he was employed as a repairman for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He passed away in 1978 in Cambridge.

In addition to the medals and other possessions, the family got back his wallet, complete with French currency intact, buttons from his uniform and a pocket knife.

“Family is wonderful,” Jeff Bond told the guests. “There’s nothing to equal to family and realizing his family fought for the freedom that’s experienced every day is exceptional.”

The Purple Heart wasn’t awarded until the early 1930s, but veterans killed or wounded on or after April 5, 1917, could receive them retroactively. About 18 million Purple Hearts have been presented to date, The Morning Journal News reported.

The medals are presented in purple, heart-shaped cloth patches which were presented by Gen. George Washington to a trio of soldiers and was known as the Badge of Military Merit.

Ian Harvey

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