2017 Purple Hearts Reunited Annual Report

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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