Thursday, August 21, 2014

Veteran Finds Identity of Soldier Killed Next to Him in Philippines-- Part 3

Recovered Purple Heart Key to the Reunion

Bateman's surviving relatives were only recently located by Army Captain Zachariah Fike, founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, who became involved at the request of a man who found Bateman's long lost Purple Heart medal in the early 1950s.

Tom McAvoy said he was helping the janitor of his Hyde Park apartment building empty some boxes into the trash when the medal "popped out."  He didn't know it, but Bateman's grandmother had lived in the complex.  McAvoy gave the medal to his mother who kept it until her death in the mid-1990s.

As an adult, McAvoy spent much time trying to return the medal to Bateman's family.  This finally happened with the help of state senator Michael Hastings and Purple Hearts Reunited.

--GreGen

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