PLYMOUTH (CBS) — “It represented a lot,” said Paul Curtis of his father’s Purple Heart.
Among all the family history, there is one heirloom that means the most.
“It was a real family heirloom and my whole family, I mean my brothers and myself, have all been in the service,” said Curtis.
In the spring, burglars struck Paul’s Plymouth house. Among the stolen items was the Purple Heart.
“I thought it was gone, I thought I would never see it again,” said Curtis.
First Lt. Robert Curtis earned it in WWII’s pivotal fight, the Battle of the Bulge.
“Slightly wounded, slightly wounded, yeah right,” said Curtis as he read the telegram informing his mother of his father’s injury.
A member of the 82nd Airborne, he was a paratrooper.
“He had 100 pieces of shrapnel in his back, even up to the day he passed away in 1991,” said Curtis.
His family proud of his service and how it factored into their lives.
“These are some of the letters and telegrams,” said Curtis holding up a stack of paper.
His parents met while they both served in the armed forces, got married, and went on to have nine children. The Purple Heart stood for so much, and still does–because it mysteriously reappeared.
“I walked out the front door and there it was sitting on the front walkway…just sitting there. I said, ‘wow.’ I didn’t know what to do. I was very excited and crying at the same time,” said Curtis.
“I guess I am forgiving of people who return things like that,” he added. “They actually had a conscience.”
Curtis’s father would have been 99 tomorrow.