Purple Heart Medal Returns Back To Family

Just thought I would relay a fascinating story about one of the soldiers you have listed on your website concerning a WWII Veteran who was killed in Action; Private Joseph A. Dills, Ref: http://www.36air-ad.com/names/serial/34594217

The Murphy, North Carolina Police Department is currently renovating their old Historic Police Station Building downtown (93 Peachtree St, Murphy, NC 28906) in a series of phases, as the project obtains funds to do so. While this renovation was in progress, a worn out Purple Heart Medal (without any ribbon attached, only the heart shaped medal) was found on the floor in an Old Jail Cell in the basement of the building.

On the back of the Purple Heart Medal, was engraved the name of Joseph A. Dills.

That Purple Heart Medal was then given to our Veterans Service Officer (Jan Griggs), located within the Murphy Courthouse next door, to see if the family, of this veteran, could be found. After a lot of research and phone calls, trying to find a family member, Private Dill’s niece was located and currently lives nearby in Nantahala, North Carolina and was contacted by phone. Jan Griggs told her the story of how her Uncle’s Purple Heart Medal was found. She was surprised and excited.

Jan Griggs found one veteran who offered to purchase a new ribbon to attach to the old worn out Purple Heart Medal. The local American Legion heard Jan Grigg’s story and offered to purchase a Walnut (Single Medal) Shadow Box with green velvet background. Using the reference information you provided online, a small Gold Plated name plate will be centered at the bottom of the shadow box that reads:

Private Joseph A. Dills
32nd Armored Infantry Division
“Victory or Death”
Proudly Served – Home at Last

The Shadow Box should arrive at the Courthouse by the first of March 2017. Once it arrives, the repaired Purple Heart will be carefully placed within the Shadow Box and a dignified and honorable ceremony is planned to present that niece, her Uncle’s old worn out and lost Purple Heart Medal. Home Again….finally back in the family’s hands after all these years.

Thought I would send you this fascinating story. Thank you for your help in this!

David E. Haney, Adjutant
American Legion, Post 96
Murphy, NC 28906

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