A veteran’s race against time to return WWI Purple Hearts


ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — A group that seeks to reunite lost Purple Hearts with service members or their descendants hopes to return 100 medals or their equivalents earned in World War I by next April. That’s the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the conflict.

Zachariah Fike of the Vermont-based Purple Hearts Reunited began the project after noticing he had exactly 100 Purple Hearts or lithographs awarded for injuries or deaths from the Great War.

The lithographs are what WWI service members who were wounded or killed while serving were awarded before the Purple Heart came into being in 1932.

Fike is a Vermont National Guard captain who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010.

The first return that’s part of the WWI project took place this weekend in Pennsylvania.

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