An Arizona family received a dose of Goodwill when a Purple Heart medal someone had mistakenly donated was returned.
A Goodwill thrift store in Tuscon first shared in mid-June that they were in search of the family of Nick D’Amelio Jr., the recipient of a Purple Heart during World War II, as reported by CNN.
Pictures shared by the Goodwill Industries of Southern California showed the medal, found in a box of housewares, with the engraving “S2C USN.”
The U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command shows that the engraving would stand for “Seaman 2nd Class United States Navy.”
According to military records, D’Amelio Jr., a member of the U.S. Navy, was lost Sept. 5, 1942, from the Solomon Islands when the USS Little sank.
Goodwill asked for the help of the community in finding the family of the Purple Heart recipient so it could be returned, and with the help of Blackhorse Investigations and Purple Hearts Reunited Inc., did just that. Last Wednesday, Goodwill updated they had located the family.
Talon Mills, the Goodwill employee who found the award, presented it to Donna Laudonio, the niece of D’Amelio on Friday, as reported by KGUN. Sen. Martha McSally was a part of the presentation.
“To see the family so happy, I think is the biggest reward for me,” Mills, who knew the significance of the medal, told KGUN. “And to be a part of that happening — to make someone happy like that — that makes me happy.”
Laudonio, who is from Tuscon, told KGUN she had no idea how the medal ended up at Goodwill, but as her granddaughter, Mia, just signed with the Air Force, the timing was memorable.
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