The Purple Heart is awarded to a service member or the service member’s family for their injuries during combat or giving their life in service to their country. It is a prestigious and awe-inspiring medal, but one that is being treated like a baseball card, according to one veteran.
Former police Officer Mike Brennan served for ten years in the military and never received one himself, but is in possession of two. His son, Joshua, was killed in 2007 while serving in Afghanistan. That is when he started to realize that the medals were being traded and sold in flea markets, pawn shops, online, and were even hoarded by collectors.
After a medal is lost or stolen, it ends up for sale to the highest bidder. That is why he started working with the non-profit organization called Purple Hearts Reunited, a group that gives the medals back to their rightful owners.
I’m bringing them back a piece of their loved one,” Brennan said. “It’s just something that I realize the level of sacrifice a family makes.”
They aren’t always able to find out why or how the medal ended up in the wrong hands, but they work tirelessly to give them back to the families of the service men and women who earned them with their lives and sacrifices.
It takes a lot of work to track down the family members and costs roughly $1,500 per medal to return, but it is always worth it – every time.
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