NC Man Getting Purple Heart Back, 70 Years Later

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

A North Carolina man is getting his Purple Heart back, almost 70 years after he mailed it home and never saw it again.

Ninety-year-old George Hemphill will receive his Purple Heart medal in a ceremony Sunday in Rutherfordton. Hemphill got the award for his fighting in 1944 during World War II in France.

He mailed it home and never asked about it again.

A man bought Hemphill's Purple Heart in October 2000 in an antique store in Columbia, S.C. He held on to it until a friend put him in touch with Purple Hearts Reunited, which is run by a Vermont man who found Hemphill and his daughter in Union Mills, N.C.

Hemphill says he's flabbergasted that so many people went to so much trouble to return a Purple Heart that he didn't even know was missing.


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