NEWBURYPORT (CBS) — Thomas Fowler once thought he’d lost the precious medal forever. It’s the Purple Heart.
“I just put it away in a drawer and forgot about it. I will feel really honored that I finally got it to the right people and that it didn’t get lost, or thrown away, or gone forever.”
The Purple Heart doesn’t belong him, or anyone he knows. He bought it at a yard sale about 15 years ago.
The medal, which is missing the ribbon, is engraved with the name Harold E. Wandover.
Wandover, a Newburyport man, was killed in action during the Korean War.
After the purchase, Fowler lost it for some time.
“One of my kids found it in a closet. It was on the table, and I said ‘Oh my God, I found it.’. So it sat there on the table for a day and I said ‘You know what, I’m not going to lose it again.'”
Fowler said he wants nothing more than to return the medal to Wandover’s family no matter how far away they may live.
“I don’t deserve it and it doesn’t deserve to be in my drawer hidden away from their history — not my history,” Fowler said.
“It’s what it’s going to mean to them when they hold it in their hand and know that this came from an ancestor that fought in the war.”