Last week, workers at a Goodwill in Tucson, Arizona, were shocked to discover a Purple Heart in a box of donations, but now – thanks to the help of Purple Hearts Reunited – the medal will go to a family member of the original recipient.
2nd Lt. Frederick Delahunt was killed in action during World War II, but his nephew, Gary Rawlinson of Norman, Oklahoma, never knew the medal existed.
“It was very surprising to me. I didn’t know him or have any opportunity to know him,” Rawlinson said. “I, of course, know his sister. [She] was my aunt, married to my dad’s brother.”
Rawlinson’s aunt, Delahunt’s sister, Kittie Anne, is now deceased but once lived in Tuscon, and Delahunt is apparently the closest living family member of Delahunt.
It’s not known exactly how the Purple Heart ended up at the Goodwill, but nonetheless, Purple Hearts Reunited will make arrangements to get the medal to Rawlinson, who said he is touched by the effort made to get the medal to its rightful owner.
“It’s such a nice story that people care enough to reach out to the family. It warms your heart with all the bad stories out there,” said Rawlinson, adding that he’s grateful to the Goodwill employees who cared enough to reach out and to Purple Hearts Reunited for their continued efforts.
Rawlinson said he will display the medal at Marshall University, where Delahunt was commissioned.
[ KVOA ]