‘Operation Purple Hearts’ returns lost medals to rightful owners


CHICAGO (WLS) — It was an emotional homecoming for a Purple Heart Award that has been lost for years.

Army Specialist Kenneth Wiest, who died in Illinois in 1998, was awarded the Purple Heart for his time in Vietnam.

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs returned the medal to Wiest’s family Sunday as part of a mission called “Operation Purple Heart.”

RELATED: Black WWII veteran who was denied the Purple Heart due to racism finally receives the honor at 99

The medal was in a forgotten safe deposit box that had been given to the state treasurer’s office.

In all, 11 Purple Heart medals will be returned to their owners.

ALSO SEE: Veteran shot down twice in matter of hours shares story on National Purple Heart Day


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