TEWKSBURY (CBS) — A Tewksbury man received a special honor just days before Veterans Day. On Friday, David Liberman, the grandson of World War I veteran Sgt. Gaetano ‘Joe’ Alferi, received his grandfather’s lost medals, including his Purple Heart.

According to the Purple Hearts Reunited Foundation, a nonprofit that returns lost medals to family members, Alferi enrolled in the U.S. Army in 1917.

World War 1 veteran Sgt. Gaetno Alferi’s awards (Photo Courtesy: Reunited Purple Hearts)

“During the war, he was wounded and received Purple Heart #90. This is the earliest Purple Heart that Purple Hearts Reunited has seen, minus Purple Heart #1 presented to General Douglas MacArthur. He was also awarded the Silver Star for bravery in action,” said the organization.

Alferi would return from the war, get married and become a father to one daughter. He died Sept. 3, 1981.

Family members are reunited with veterans’ lost awards (Photo Courtesy: Reunited Purple Hearts)

Alferi’s medals were discovered in Lynn, Massachusetts. They were returned to surviving family members at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.


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