2017 Purple Hearts Reunited Annual Report

Earned Through Valor, Lost by Circumstance, Reunited with Dignity

In This Report

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Letter From Our Founder

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Letter From Our Executive Director

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Mission

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Honor Roll

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Valor Guard

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Eight On Seven

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Medal Returns

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Events & Accolades

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Sharing Our Story

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Sponsors

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Financials

LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER

The Foundation continues to grow in leaps and bounds, both organizationally and personally. Through the long hours of research, travel, and all the adversity, we were able to find strength in the virtue of returning Valor, which led to the most successful year since our creation.

I’m also pleased that we welcomed two new members of the Valor Guard who are female Veterans.  As the son of a

female Veteran, I’ve witnessed the struggles women have faced over the years and my mother’s ability to overcome

unnecessary obstacles has been an example I’ve always tried to follow.  Female integration in our society and

military is a necessary step to making us a better and stronger nation and I’m proud that Purple Hearts Reunited is

at the forefront of reaching this goal.

Our Executive Director Sarah had another strong year and secured some amazing partnerships from across the

country.  With these new friends, we will be able to pool our resources and begin to answer the question we ask

ourselves every day, “What more can we do for our Veteran’s and their families?”  We find this cohort of Americans

to be our country’s national treasures and without them, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we often so carelessly enjoy. 

This foundation is our small way of paying them the honor they deserve and preserving their invaluable legacies.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the hundreds of individual donors who contributed to our mission last year.  These donors,

both from small and large towns across our country, often don’t have the money to give, but they choose to do so

anyway because they passionately believe in our mission.  These donors are the life blood of this foundation and we

Not only did we meet our goal of returning 100 lost, stolen, or misplaced artifacts, we successfully expanded

share their love with every family we honor.

our Valor Guard and Valor Research programs.  As a team, we were able to increase our returns by 44%, our

researchers produced hundreds of volunteer research hours, and our Valor Guard teams traveled some 30,000

I’ll close by sending love to my family.  As Dr. Brothers once said, “When you look at your life the greatest happiness’s

miles to return Valor in 34 states.  These returns encompassed all eras of service to include our first return to a

are family happiness’s”.  Through this foundation, I’ve always attempted to create a positive example my children could

mother of a fallen patriot of Desert Storm.

grow from, but to date, they have taught me so much more.  Being a husband and father has been, without a doubt,

my greatest source of achievement, pride, and inspiration.  They have taught me unconditional love, supported the

I am particularly proud of the event we held in New York City dubbed Eight on Seven.  Individual returns can be

importance of returning Valor, and simply taught me how to be a better person.  I look forward to sharing those lessons

a life changing occurrence, but we wanted to see what would happen if we brought eight likeminded families

with you and continuing to honor our Veterans in the new year.

together to experience that moment as a group.  We were not surprised to find that these families not only

benefited from the enjoyable adventure to the Big Apple, but they bonded over the grievance of a loved one’s

God Bless,

loss, their own personal struggles to find closure, and the emotional impact of being reunited with their Valor.

Through that process, they left with not only new friends that will last a lifetime, but they left as a family, which

we believe to be one of God’s greatest gifts. It was an amazing journey for everyone involved and we look forward

to repeating this event next year.

Zachariah L. Fike, Founder

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LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

As I reflect on 2017, I feel extremely proud of what we have accomplished. From the intimate ceremonies in homes across the United States to the historic walls of Federal Hall, this year has been enriching on many levels.

With your continued support we move forward, one return at a time, paying homage to the heroes that make up the

backbone of this great country. As you read this report, we hope you take pride in the returns that your generosity

has made possible. As John F. Kennedy said “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest

appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

With respect, honor and appreciation,

As the Executive Director of Purple Hearts Reunited I have the great privilege of meeting the brave Men and Women

who have served our country. In addition, I have the incredible opportunity to work with you, the individuals and

businesses that graciously lend your expertise, time and financial support to make our mission of returning Valor

Sarah M. Corry, Executive Director

possible. Your support brought an immeasurable amount of joy, peace, and closure for the families involved with

returns throughout the year. With your generosity, we provided these families with a once in a lifetime experience and

memories that will last forever.

At Purple Hearts Reunited our mission comes first. While the news coverage was extensive this year, and the

support humbling, we continue this mission because of the profound effect it has on families. I often say to my two

children, the best things in life cannot be measured. This rings true at Purple Hearts Reunited. There is no system

that can accurately measure the emotional impact we have on Veterans and their families, only the feeling you get

when reading about their experience in their own words.

“What you did for me could never be repaid with all the money in the World. For years and years the pain I endured with the loss of my dad haunted me every day. But what you did for me in New York healed that pain and loss I felt for my dad. The pain has left my heart and I have been set free and I owe it all to the care and the love you had for and showed us all.”

Chris Calhoun, received his Father’s Purple Heart PFC Calhoun

“This is like a huge Christmas gift, I never ever expected to have something like this. We’re now with something that is very special to our family; probably more special than anything I can think of”

Art Broaderick, received his Father’s Purple Heart PFC Broaderick

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6.

Honor Roll

Purple Hearts Reunited is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2012. Our mission is to return lost or stolen military medals of valor to veterans or their families to honor their sacrifice to the nation.

1LT Alexander A. Agase WWII, Chicago, IL

PVT Pete I. Cole WWII, Charleston, WV

1LT Joseph A. Gavagan WWII, NJ

PVT Davis E. Bates WWI, St. Louis, MO

SGT Joseph M. Coulombe Korea, Bethel, ME

CPL Eulis G. Grace Sr. Korea, Kingsport, TN

PFC Epifanio M. Bedolla WWII, Wilcox, AZ

2LT Robert W. Cowart WWII, Lubbock, TX

SGT David D. Gray WWII, Muncie, IN

CMSGT Anthony Biancuzzo Korea/Vietnam, Vienna, VA

PFC Joseph J. Cryan WWI, Reno NV

CPT Bennett H. Grimm WWII, Houston, TX

Who We Are

PVT Henry D. Bischoff WWI, Defiance, OH

A1C Linwood Duncan Korea, Norfolk, VA

CPL Andrew J. Hessig WWI, Winchester, VA

Purple Hearts Reunited is led by our headquarters based in Vermont and supported by three specialty divisions —

Valor Research, Valor Rescue, Valor Guard. These teams are led by dedicated volunteers from across the country

MSG Frederick G. Boelzle WWII, Westfield, NJ

PVT Frank L. Dunnell Jr. WWI, Manhattan, NY

PVT Bennie Hiam WWI, Tacoma, WA

and primarily consist of Veterans, wounded Veterans and Military families. As a team, we work together to honor our

PVT Carl I. Bond WWI, Fremont, OH

PVT Walter W. Eades WWI, Willimantic, CT

PFC William J. Higgins WWII, Dobbs Ferry, NY

nation’s heroes and return Valor across the country.

S1C Elmer M. Briggs Jr. WWII, Bath, ME

SGT Boyd W. Elam Korea, Portage, IN

PVT Walter H. Hiott WWII, Greenfield, IN

PVT Earl P. Broaderick WWII, Burlington, VT

SGT Stephen J. Evancho Korea, Eagle, CO

MAJ Ronald R. Hobaica WWII/Korea/Vietnam Russellville, AR

SGT William J. Brown Vietnam, Camp Pendleton, CA

SSG David L. Evans Iraq

SSG John W. Hobson WWII, Memphis, TN

TSGT Howard R. Brown WWII, Denver, CO

PVT Dan L. Feragen WWII, Manhattan, NY

PFC Alexander S. Hughes WWII, Riverdale, GA

PFC Alfred J. Burton Korea, Haverhill, MA

1LT Brian W. Flavelle WWII, Manhattan, NY

MAJ Maurice Johnson Korea, Fort Worth, TX

CPL Richard S. Byars Vietnam, Pueblo, CO

PVT Abraham F. Foreman Jr. WWI, Hagerstown, MD

F/O David G. Jolly WWII, Lawrence, KS

PFC Andrew T. Calhoun Vietnam, Manhattan, NY

PVT Clayton A. French WWII, Strafford, NH

CPL Phillip J. Jones Desert Storm, Atlanta, GA

Vision

S1C Russell R. Clark WWII, Dallas, TX

PFC Derrell O. Fuller WWII, Rogers, AR

Our vision is to return every medal we receive or rescue within the same calendar year by expanding our Valor Guard

SSG Jimmy Kendall Vietnam, Fayetteville, AR

and strengthening our financial sustainability. We hope to unite volunteers in every state to support our research and

CPL Reed F. Clark WWI, Dallas, TX

SGT William F. Gaddy Vietnam, Palmetto, GA

assist with fundraising campaigns across the country.

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8.

2017 Valor Guard

PFC Jack C. Kightlinger Korea, Manhattan, NY

LI1 Louis F. Poehler WWII, Northampton, PA

PFC Dean R. Sorrenson Korea, Madison, WI

2LT Robert Q. Kisor WWII, Napoleon, OH

CPL Everett J. Proper WWI, Skaneateles, NY

A1C Paul S. Soutiere Vietnam, Burlington, VT

Robert Monette Mike Sturgill Ema Moreau Alejandra Caballero

DIRECTOR Mitch Bell Zac Fike Kevin Coady Mike Brennan Mitch Bell John Bircher Don Fike Robert Hunt Rich Gerbeth

This group, affectionately dubbed the Valor Guard, is

PFC Archibald L. Lake WWII, Danbury, CT

CPL Leo G. Rauf WWI, Kansas City, KS

SGT Thedford C. Staples WWII, Oklahoma City, OK

comprised of former Men and Women, both current and

active duty military veterans. Their years of dedicated

PVT Charles E.G. Lake WWII, Cairo, NY

TEC3 Max Roisen WWII, New York, NY

PFC William F. Stewart WWII, Brighton, MI

service span across the Army, Navy, Air Force, and

Marine Corps. Dedicated to preserving our nation’s

PFC Harold M. Larsen WWII, Clearwater, FL

SGT George W. Roles WWII, Manhattan, NY

CPL Richard L. Stout Korea, Fremont, OH

freedom, they also understand the importance of

PVT Paul S. Romberger WWII, Allentown, PA

CPL Chester Streeter Korea, Winooski, VT

honoring our heroes and finding homes of honor for

SGT Raymond E. Latta WWII, Andrews, NC

their lost or stolen medals. This program is an integral

SGT Edward F. Ryan WWI, Willimantic, CT

SPC Daniel J. Swift Iraq, Manhattan, NY

part of our mission and has transformational affects on

1LT Samuel A. Lutterloh Korea, Broadway, NC

the Veterans involved.

SGT George Sahlmann WWII, Manhattan, NY

CPL Joseph P. Trettel WWI, Washington, D.C.

COL Leon E. Lyon WWI, Tucson, AZ

COL Byron W. Schwartz WWI, Montpelier, VT

SP4 William K. Viles Vietnam, Fort Valley, GA

SFC Albert Malveaux Vietnam, Lake Charles, LA

SP4 Kenneth Scoggins Vietnam, Johnstown, CO

SGT Kenneth B. Von Lindern WWII, La Verne, CA

1LT Alonzo S. Marcil WWII, Storrs, CT

CSM Kenneth Scott Iraq, Nicholasville, KY

PFC Harvey Wert WWII, Ephrata, PA

PVT Joseph A. Micale WWII, Rochester, NH

Statistics

PFC O. V. Sheffield WWII, Cameron, TX

PFC Joseph K. Wheeler Vietnam, West Point, NY

PFC Joseph S. Murphey WWII, Ashburn, VA

100 Returns 34 States Visited, 30,000 Miles Traveled

S1C John W. Shields WWII, The Villages, FL

S1C Robert A. Wilder WWII, Tulsa, OK

SPC Charles W. O’Brien Iraq, Kansas City, KS

PFC Justine C. Short WWI, Knoxville, TN

PFC Audrey G. Winn Jr. WWII, Little Rock, AR

SFC Lewis T. Owens WWII/Korea, Conneaut, OH

PFC Vincent S. Simone Vietnam, Newburgh, NY

PFC Dean E. Winner WWII, Moline, IL

PVT Claude Parris WWII, Ringgold, GA

2LT Robert A. Smith WWII, Denver, CO

SSG Albert M. Yanetti WWII, Indiantown Gap, PA

SGT James E. Parrott WWII, Kimbolton, OH

SSG Bernard E. Snow WWII, Manhattan, NY

PVT Orlando Zamora WWII, Brandon, FL

PFC Miguel A. Perez-Loubriel WWII, Santa Rose, California

PVT Edward J. Solomon WWII, Allentown, PA

MAJ Albert W. Perrington WWII, Mooresburg, TN

Totals by Era: 17 WWI, 53 WWII, 12 Korea, 13 Vietnam, 1 Desert Storm, 4 OIF/OEF

9.

10.

In recognition of National Purple Heart Day (August 7) we held an unprecedented event within the historic walls of Federal Hall. Eight previously lost Purple Heart Medals were reunited with the family members of seven deceased Veterans and one living Iraq War Veteran, Dan Swift.

Themed as “Eight on the Seventh” (8-7-17), this day honored families who represented our nation’s heroes from World

War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam War, and the War on Terror. The location of the ceremony was historically

significant as it marks the site where the founding father of the Purple Heart, President George Washington, was sworn

in as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789. A fundraising benefit was held at Fraunces Tavern ®

following the ceremony where guests were serenaded by the talented Gyda Arber Sabaugh and Elysia Segal. Guests

enjoyed a decadent cake donated by the Cake Boss, which looked almost too perfect to eat.

The days leading up to the event were filled with excitement for our families. From interviews on Fox and Friends to

Story Corp, the media coverage was extensive, and the families handled it with grace. The families were honored with

applause at the New York Stock Exchange thanks to our friends at the United War Veterans Council and their Execu-

tive Director, Mark Otto. Our friends at the FDNY guided the families to the sites of New York City, including one of our

favorite firehouses, Engine 54/Ladder4/Battalion 9. “Eight on Seven” was certainly a once in a lifetime experience for

the families involved. They share a unique bond and unforgettable memories that will last forever.

The event would not have been possible without the support of the United War Veterans Council, the Daughters of the

American Revolution based in New York City, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York and the New York

City Fire Department.

Special thanks to our sponsors – Bank of America, BNY Mellon, First Data, Unite US, Donna and Remo Pizzagalli, Josh-

ua G. Parker, 14 th Star Brewery, Heroes Vodka, Sword & Plough, Vineyard Vines, Grunt Style, Select Design and

Union Street Media.

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PURPLE HEART DAY 2017 VETERANS HONORED

Private Frank Lyman Dunnell Jr. 27th Infantry Division Buffalo, New York

Wounded in the Somme Offensive on October 2, 1918. His medal was

discovered at the Bank of New York and was returned to his Great-Niece,

Mrs. Carlson of Burlington, VT.

Army Sergeant George W. Roles 35th Infantry Division Edna, Kansas

Lost his life during intense fighting against the Germans in St. Lo, France.

His medal was discovered in a California home and was returned to his son,

Nick Geasland of San Diego, CA.

Army Private Dan Lyle Feragen 7th Infantry Division Carlyle, Montana

Army Air Corps 1st Lieutenant Brian Woolley Flavelle 376th Bomber Group Essex County, New Jersey Served as a B-24 Bomber pilot, assigned to the 376th

Survived the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines, but died

inside a P.O.W. camp due to mistreatment by his captors. Receiving his medal

for the first time was his nephew and namesake, Lyle Feragen.

Bomber Group. Lt. Flavelle and his crew of the “Wongo

Wongo” lost their lives in “Black Sunday,” the costliest

mission in Air Force history, an August 1, 1943, raid on nine oil

refineries around Ploiești, Romania. His medal was discovered

Pvt. Frank Lyman Dunnell Jr.

in Oregon and was returned to his two nephews, Ande & Brian

Flavelle of Caldwell, NJ and Watsonville, CA.

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14.

PURPLE HEART DAY 2017 VETERANS HONORED

Marine Corps PFC Jack Carl Kightlinger 1st Marine Division Franklin, Pennsylvania

PFC Kightlinger was killed in action in fighting near South Korea’s Soyang

River. His medal was found in the 1970s by U.S. Army Veteran Staff Sergeant

Kevin Coady, who had been searching for the family ever since. He returned

Jack’s medal to his great-niece, Mrs. Bernadine Ridgeway of Marysville, CA.

Army PFC Andrew Thomas Calhoun 173rd Airborne Division Chesapeake, Virginia

Served as an Infantryman with the 173rd Airborne Division. PFC Calhoun was

wounded in action and later worked as a Chesapeake Police Officer in the

SWAT division. He was unfortunately killed on duty when his aircraft crashed

into a lake. His medals were discovered in Arizona and were returned to his

son, Mr. Chris Calhoun of Chesapeake, VA.

Army PFC Daniel Swift “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment New York City, New York

Army Air Corps Staff Sergeant Bernard Eldon Snow 305th Bomber Group Santa Barbara, California Served as a B-17 Ball Turret Gunner with the 305th Bomber Group.

A New York City firefighter and reservist who served as a Combat Medic

with the “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment. Following an explosion

His B-17, “Mr. Jones,” was shot down by a German fighter near

impacting the armored Humvee carrying him and several other soldiers,

Hoorn, Holland and he spent the rest of the war in a German

Daniel quickly rushed to save the life of one of his comrades also injured

P.O.W. camp, Stalag 17-B. His medal was discovered in a California

in the incident. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple

jewelry shop and was reunited with his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca

PFC Jack Carl Kightlinger

Heart, and was presented with a full set of his medals at the ceremony.

Crofts from Superior, WI.

15.

16.

Sgt. Joseph Maurice Coulombe

Every medal has its own journey.

U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Maurice Coulombe was killed in action

on March 31, 1951, in South Korea. The medal of valor he was

awarded posthumously was sent to his wife, but Coulombe’s

With your support, each one sacrifices are honored, memories are shared and families are reunited. We look forward to sharing the stories as they unfold in 2018.

family never knew he had married at age 17 while in boot

camp. When his widow recently died, her daughter turned to

us to locate the family. On Raymond Coulombe’s 14th birth-

day, he found his brother was killed in action. Each Birthday

after served as a reminder of the brother he lost, the broth-

er he loved, a memory of his lost hero. On Raymond’s 80th

Birthday, his wish was to see his brother for what could be

the last time. With the help of our organization, American

Airlines, and The Airpower Foundation, Raymond made the

trip from Los Angeles to Maine, where the brothers grew up.

He was able to visit his brother’s gravesite and was presented

with his Purple Heart at the American Legion post in Bethal.

“I was 14 years old celebrating my birthday with my grandparents, and that’s when we got the news that

my brother was killed, so it’s like coming around full-circle,” Raymond Coulombe said. “He was my love, my

life. I idolized him dearly. To bring this all back after this many years, right now I feel like I’m in another

CPL Leo George Rauf

world.”-Raymond Coulombe

On the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entering WWI, we paid

homage to World War One hero, CPL Leo George Rauf. Leo

served in the 301st Tank Battalion, was attached to the British

Expeditionary Forces, and assigned to a Mark V tank. On 29

September 1918, with one eye shot out, Leo fought to the death

to protect his brothers during some of the toughest fighting

on the Hindenburg Line. His last words were “Well, I’m happy I

could get some of those Jerry’s before they got me”. It’s be-

cause of men like Leo that we are a free nation and we owe him

100 years of gratitude. His great nephew Mike along with his

son, Parker, who recently enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Combat

Medic, were presented with some of his medals and personal

heirlooms. 100 years later, Leo’s legacy lives on!

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18.

Corporal Richard Scott Byars

ations were they were altered for immediate movement as a result of a large enemy breakthrough in their area.

They moved from their position near Verviers and Herve and moved toward Robertville, Belgium with the mission

of defending the southwest of their area of operations. It was during this movement that Frederick’s unit encoun-

Richard was born 20 September 1947 to Earl Walter

tered enemy contact and he was Killed in Action on 19 December 1944. At the time of Master Sergeant Frederick

and Eleanor Francis Byars in Rye, Pueblo County,

G. Boelzle’ death, he was married to his sweetheart Irene, who later died in 1986. She was presented with his

Colorado. He would later enlist into the United States

Heart and a flag that was flown over the Henri-Chapelle American Military Cemetery in Belgium in his honor.

Marine Corps and was trained as a Mortarman

(60mm). Assigned to Weapons Platoon, E Company,

During our visit to the Sun Rise Senior Living Com-

2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine

munity in Westfield, New Jersey, we met several of

Division, he was deployed to Vietnam on 18 June

their residents and learned many were WWII Veter-

1967. During combat operations in South Vietnam,

ans. This included, PFC Vinnie Scalera who served

he was first wounded on 27 November 1967 and then

with the 167th Engineer Combat Battalion during

again on 22 January 1968 near Quang Tri, Vietnam,

the war. Even to this day, he still has the newspaper

which cost him his life. During that operation, CPL

that announced the end of the war. These heroes are

Byars was attempting to knock out a suspected North

passing daily, take time to listen to their stories and

Vietnamese artillery spotter. Unfortunately, the enemy

please thank them before they go.

was able to place a round on his position, killing him

and a GSGT Nathan Weathers. His medal was recently

discovered by Marine Corps Veteran Michael Walston

1LT Samuel Ayer Lutterloh

in an antique shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Last May,

during the 35th Anniversary of the Vietnam Wall

1LT Samuel Ayer Lutterloh was larger than life. A graduate of West Point, Sam went on to serve in the Army with

and the 30th Anniversary of Rolling Thunder, our

Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War.

Executive Director, Sarah along with the help of Rob Wilkins and the Rolling Thunder, had the honor of reuniting

Decorated for Valor on a number of occasions, Sam answered the ultimate sacrifice on 02 September 1952 near

CPL Richard Scott Byars’s Purple Heart at Panel 35 East, Row 10 of the wall. CPL Byars has no direct family living,

Chorwan, Korea. On Veterans Day, our first female Valor Guard member, Captain Ema Moreau returned his medals

so his medal was donated to the Pueblo County Historical Society and Museum last December.

to his family so that his legacy can be preserved and remembered. We trust that his family will keep close watch

over Sam in the generations to come and that they will share his story of honor and sacrifice.

Master Sergeant Frederick G. Boelzle

Mildred saw her brother’s Purple Heart for the first

time at the age of 95. Her brother Fredrick was born

in 1914 to August and Julia Kaehnle Boelzle in New

Jersey. Frederick would later enlist in the U.S. Army

on 26 September 1939 and was assigned to Service

Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Divi-

sion. On 17 December 1944, the 16th Infantry Regi-

ment was carrying out rest and rehabilitation oper-

19.

20.

Private Earl Broaderick

SGT George Sahlmann

PVT Earl Paskell Broaderick was born 25 November 1914 in South Carolina to Calvin and Ruby W. Broaderick. On

On December 11th, 2017 Purple Hearts Reunited and COL (R) Jack H. Jacobs, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor Recipient,

21 August 1936, he married Loretta Perez and had three children, a daughter Barbara, son Kenneth, and son Ar-

Vietnam presented WWII hero SGT George Sahlmann’s Purple Heart to the Museum of Jewish Heritage with his

thur. Arthur never had an opportunity to meet his father; he was born 7 months after his father’s death.

niece and her family present. The Core Exhibition will serve as a Home of Honor. We had the honor of Inge Katz,

Earl enlisted for service in the U.S. Army on 22 February 1944 in Hillsborough County, Florida and was assigned

a 93-year-old Holocaust Survivor and her Granddaughter, Author Elise Garibaldi present for the ceremony. Elise

to Headquarters Company, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. He sacrificed his life on 13 September

wrote Inge’s memoir Roses in a Forbidden Garden.

1944 in France during the Division’s attempt to cross the Moselle River. He is buried in the Martin-Colon Cemetery

in Tampa, Florida. Earl’s son Arthur followed in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the U.S. Army for service in

Born 28 September 1910 in Neuenwalde, Hanover, Germany to Hinrich and

Vietnam. Assigned as a helicopter crew chief and machine gunner, Arthur was wounded during his service and

Meta Miessner Sahlmann. Not much is known about his early life, but at the age of 27, he was able to escape

like his father, was awarded the Purple Heart.

Nazi control from the Bremerhaven, Germany area on a luxury cruise ship called the SS Columbus in 1937. When

Earl’s medal was rescued by Mrs. Marsha Kanterman-Viele in a thrift store in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She instantly

the ship docked in the New York harbor on 25 June 1937 to drop off passengers at Pier 86, he was discovered

knew the importance of the medal when she saw it as her father had served in the Navy during WWII in Okina-

and listed as a “Deserting Seaman”. He would later enlist to serve in the U.S. Army on 26 March 1943 and was

wa. Art didn’t have anything to remember his dad by. But now, he finally does. Just two weeks before Christmas,

assigned to the 35th Infantry Division. He applied for U.S. Citizenship through the county clerk of Montgomery,

thanks to the quick turn around of Mrs. Kanterman-Viele, our amazing framers at the Village Frame Shop, Select

Alabama on 22 July 1943 and was witnessed by two of his Army friends, Staff Sergeant Dale Rankin and Staff

Design, and the help of Eagle Scout, Daniel Durgin, we changed that. We were extremely proud of Daniel Durgin

Sergeant Emil Nelson.

who used his Eagle Scout project to raise the money for the ceremony.

He would see action at St. Lo, the Cotentin

Peninsula, and the Mortain-Avranches corridor.

His unit raced across France through Orleans

and Sens, Moselle, captured Nancy, secured

Chambrey, and drove on to the German border,

taking Sarreguemines while crossing the Saar.

After crossing the Blies River, the Division

moved to Metz. His unit also took part in the

fighting to relieve Bastogne. The Division left

England on 05 September 1945 and arrived

in New York City on 10 September. He was

discharged one month later on 11 November.

According to the decorations the organization

rescued, it appears SGT Sahlmann was wounded

on three different occasions. For his actions

and service in WWII, his decorations and awards

21.

22.

consist of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge. Later in life, he was

awarded the New York Conspicuous Service Cross on 07 October 1991 by State Senator Christopher J. Mega.

George passed on 08 January 2006 at the age of 95.

PFC Joseph James Cryan

Private First Class (PFC) Joseph James “Jack” Cryan was born in Anniston, Alabama 10 April 1897 to Joseph and

Elizabeth M. Cray. He enlisted in the Army on 23 April 1917 and was discharged on 5 April 1919. He went to France

with the 8th Provisional Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps and sailed the 25th of August 1917 on the USS

CMSGT Anthony Biancuzzo

Pannonia. Jack was awarded the Purple Heart on August 15 th 1939. When Jack was discharged on 5 April 1919, he

came home and went to San Antonio Township, Los Angeles County, California, where he is listed in the 1920 cen-

sus in the home of his aunt and uncle, Charles Farris and wife Kathryn. By 1922, he had married Glenna Rudy and

This return was an amazing way to end 2017. CMSGT Anthony Biancuzzo, a Veteran of the Korean and Vietnam

had three sons, John Calvin, Glenn and Arthur. Jack worked as a molder in an iron foundry, and died on 16 April

Wars and of over 30 years of service to our country in the United States Air Force. We returned his lost Purple

1956. His wife Glenna died on 24 September

Heart to his wife and daughter at a special ceremony with the help of our friends at the Military Times. If you

1967 and is buried with him in the Live Oak Me-

watch the video, listen to the last words spoken by CMSGT Biancuzzo’s family, in short, “Thank you for bringing

morial Park in Monrovia, California, where their

him back for a few minutes”. It’s powerful statements like these that keep us moving forward.

sons, Arthur and Glen are also buried. Joseph’s

medal was returned to his Great-Grandson, who

is a Marine Veteran and also a Purple Heart re-

cipient, having been wounded in Operation Iraqi

Freedom.

Special thanks to our Friends at the American

Legion and Legion Auxiliary for hosting us at

their 2017 Convention in Reno, especially Aux-

iliary National President Mary Davis and our

friend Carol Harlow. Another wonderful job

by our Valor Guard Director Mitch Bell and his

mother, Mary Bell, a Valor Researcher, both for

finding this family and bringing the medal home.

https://www.militarytimes.com/video/2018/01/10/purple-heart-returned-to-war-heros-family/

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24.

Events & Accolades

Events

World War One Centennial Commission

Genealogical Award

We are proud to be a Commemorative Partner of the U.S. World War One

We are extremely proud of our volunteer Valor Researcher’s from the Chicago

Centennial Commission and will continue our efforts to assist their mission to

Genealogical Society and the Scottish Genealogy Group of the Illinois St.

plan, develop, and execute programs, projects and activities to commemorate

Andrews Society, who received Community Service Awards for their tireless

the Centennial of World War I. We appreciate them sharing our “Eight On

work with Purple Hearts Reunited. We have always said, individually we can

Seven” event and look forward to future returns in honor of our doughboys.

do well, but when you build a village and work together, you can achieve

greatness. We are lucky to have such a great team in our corner helping to find

lost Valor a home. Thank you!

Wreath Laying In Washington D.C. on Veterans Day

We were honored to participate in this years Veterans Day wreath laying at

Air Force Sergeants Award

Arlington on Veterans Day. It was incredibly special to experience the moment

We were honored to receive the Air Force Sergeants Association Americanism

on the 11th hour, the 11th day and the 11th month.

Award at their national convention last July in Reno, Nevada. Valor Guard

member Mike Brennan was on hand to accept the award presented by the 18th

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Kaleth O. Wright. We appreciate the

continued support.

Vietnam Memorial Day Plaza

Our Executive Director, Sarah Corry, had the honor of meeting Montel

Williams at the Friends of the Vietnam Memorial Plaza lunch yesterday. Special

thanks to Jim Barnes for the invitation to attend this wonderful event.

Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award

Our Executive Director Sarah received the Rotary International Paul Harris

Fellow Award for her dedicated work with our foundation.

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and U.S.

astronaut James Lovell. Thanks to the Colchester, VT Rotary for recognizing

hard work.

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26.

Fundraisers

September 11th

On September 11th, Our Executive Director Sarah had the privilege of being

included in the presentation of an award to our friends at FDNY Engine 54,

3rd Annual Calcutta

Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Time Square 48st and 8th ave Special thanks to Regent,

Thanks to our local community here in Vermont, our Purple Hearts Reunited 3rd Annual Calcutta was the most successful yet!

Sherry Laue and Mary Washington Colonial Chapter, NSDAR, NY, NY for

The evening was full of laughs thanks to our talented emcee, Tim Halvorson. Special thanks to our title sponsor Morgan Stanley,

including Sarah in this special presentation.

Burlington Country Club for the beautiful venue and delicious food, 14th Star for the best beer in Vermont, and the winners of the

raffle and calcutta, Dan Feeney and Jonathan Farnham who generously donated the money back to Purple Hearts Reunited. Last

but not least, a heartfelt thank you to our dedicated team of volunteers, Kyle Bostwick, The Baldwin Family and Brittany Brown.

HillVets 100

We couldn’t have done it without you. With your support, we raised over $27,000 to support our mission of returning lost or stolen

Medals of Valor to veterans or their families in order to honor their sacrifice to our nation.

Zac had the honor of meeting former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the

HillVets 100 Awards Reception where he spoke about Purple Hearts Reunited.

We were honored to be in a room of great American Veterans inspiring to

affect change on Capitol Hill and creatively finding ways to continue their

service after the military.

MilitaryTimes Solider of the Year Award

We had a great time at the Military Times Service Member of the Year 2017

Award Gala. A special thanks to the Military Times family for their tremendous

support this year. Congrats to the 2017 recipients, you are what make this

country great.

Lularoe Fundraiser

Army Gala

We would like to thank our friend Courtney Jaggars for her LuLaRoe Fundraiser in honor of Purple Hearts Reunited. With your

We were honored to participate in the 242nd Army Birthday Gala in NYC. It was

support we were able to rescue a medal online for PFC Norman M. Chaplin. Norman was Killed in Action on 09 August 1944 while

great to see old friends and meet new people leading the charge in the Veteran

serving with the 109th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division. We are happy to report his Niece and Nephew have been

Community. Special thanks to Chris Page and Jen Wilson for their support.

found and because of some interesting family dynamics, they didn’t even know he existed. Thanks to your generosity, Norman will

now live on as a family Hero!

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28.

Sharing Our Story

Select Sessions

On Thursday, Sept 7th, 2017, our friends at Select hosted the 10th show in their music benefit series “Select Sessions,” with 100%

of proceeds supporting Purple Hearts Reunited. An All-Star band performed the music of Queen to a sold-out crowd of more than

500 friends from the community. Select rallied other supporters, including Switchback Brewing Co., Dark Horse Wine, The Great

Northern, Tomgirl Juice Co., City Market, South End Art Hop, WND & WVS, The Scoop, and Taco Truck All-Stars.

Story Corp

Military Officer Magazine

The family of fallen Korean War hero PFC Jack C.

It was an honor to be featured in Military Officer Magazine’s

Kightlinger and a former Army Medic will share their story

August issue.

of a discovered Purple Heart, a Soldiers mission to return

it, and a family united over lost history.

Fox and Friends

We were honored to tell the stories of PFC Jack Carl

Kightlinger and SGT George Roles on Fox and Friends. Thank

you for sharing two heroes stories.

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30.

PHR Title Sponsors

Matrix Technology

Village Frame Shop

Select Design

The team at Matrix Technology has truly

Framing is a crucial aspect of our mission.

Change is important in organizations. We

changed our foundation. From the moment

Each frame goes through a detailed layout

have grown by leaps and bounds and needed

we met their talented CEO and dedicated

process with our framer and specific

new branding to reflect our growth. Thanks

teammembers, we knew immediately they

details such as matting color and medal

to the generosity of Select Design, we have

could see the tangible and intangible aspects

arrangement are carefully chosen to best

updated our brand to capture the “Heart” of

of return ceremonies and the value of our

historical represent each Veteran and their

our mission. We are so fortunate to have a

mission. Their commitment to training and

specific service. Together we pour our hearts

team of talented designers who understand

hiring Veterans is impressive and rapidly

into every step of the unification process

the true value of what we do and in turn are

growing. Their support enabled us to reach

and pieces of that can be witnessed when

able to create the most beautiful brochures,

our 100 returns goal in 2017 and expand our

a family sees a frame for the first time. We

invitations and reports, like the one you are

team in 2018. We are incredibly grateful for

would not be able to do that without our

reading. Thank you for capturing the essence

your support and look forward to continuing

friends at the Village Frame Shop. Thank you.

of what we do.

our partnership with you in the years to come.

A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Donors & Sponsors

State of Vermont Veterans Fund

MOPHSF

Garvey Communication

14th Star Brewing Co.

Morgan Stanley

Sunningdale Charitable Trust

General Dynamics

American Legion 151 01-04

We would like to thank the individuals or families across the country who provided financial support to Purple Hearts Reunited this year. Thank you for choosing us.

National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution

Sword and Plough

Green Mountain Rehab

American Legion Post 407

The Adirondack Trust Co

Grunt Style

Bank of America

The Keelan Family Foundation

New York City Fire Department

Hannaford Helps

BNY Mellon

Tom Bradley Charity

Northern Benefits LTD

Joack Unlimited

Boy Scouts Troop 888

Unite Us

NYC Chapter NS Daughters of the American Revolution

Just Giving

Capital Custom Sandblast

In addition, PHR had the support of businesses and organizations that contributed to our mission. Some of

United War Veterans Council

Karen Ross

Chester County Marine Corps

Paypal Charitable Giving Fund

these donors sponsored specific events, and some gave funds without restrictions. From businesses raising

Union Street Media

Kittell, Branagan, and Sargent

Combat Vets Motor Association vs. Motor Pershing LLC

Pershing LLC as Custodian

money through ‘Casual Fridays’ to DAR Chapters voting and donating to support the cause, there are a number

Vermont Culinary Resort

Ladies Auxiliary Post 6471

ROF Renaissance Charitable Foundation

Essex Asset Management

of ways to get involved.

Village Frame Shoppe

Malachi Missions

Fidelity

Vineyard Vines

Select Design

Manchester Country Club INC.

First Data Salutes

If your organization would like to partner with Purple Hearts Reunited to honor veterans military families, email

Sons of the American Revolution State of New York

Matrix Technology

Galle Property Management

Sarah Corry, Executive Director at sarah@purpleheartsreunited.org to find out more.

MOPH Chapter 21

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32.

PHR Financials

Call To Action

Our charity works with military families and veterans across the country. The organization was founded by a combat veteran and Purple Heart

Donations and Sponsorships - $283,765

recipient. We have returned over 400 medals to date, and the service we provide lasts a lifetime, helping military

Grants - $20,000

families connect with their history, and often, through the gift of a tangible memento of their loved one, giving

them the solace to move on. We rely on donations and sponsorships to do this work. Please reach out to us if you

would like to become part of the mission.

Total Revenue - $303,765

Total Expenses - $276,898 (Medal Rescues, Returns and Administrative Costs)

Meet Our Team

Zachariah Fike Founder and CEO (315) 523-3609 purpleheartsreunited@gmail.com

Sarah Corry Executive Director (802) 734-7715 sarah@purpleheartsreunited.org

38 North Main Street Suite 112, St. Albans VT 05478

(802) 734-7715 | administrator@purpleheartsreunited.org

Visit us on the web at www.purpleheartsreunited.org

To support the cause, visit our website and make a donation or text PHR to 41444

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