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(WTAE)   Please don't put a Purple Heart in a thrift store bin. It just makes it harder to get it back to the family   (wtae.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Korean War, World War II, Teresa Ferrin, Purple Heart, American film actors, Erik Karl Blauberg, Apostrophe, Exonumia  
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2349 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Mar 2021 at 12:05 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



58 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-03-02 9:57:49 AM  
I wear your granddad's clothes, I look incredibo!

It's like I lost my leg while fighting for a guy named Ngo!

(or "in a battle with Tojo!" if grandpa was older)
 
2021-03-02 11:05:23 AM  
What to do with a deceased relative's medals, trophies, etc.
 
2021-03-02 11:07:54 AM  
I don't want to be disrespectful of the dead's accomplishments and all that, but are the descendants obligated to just keep all that stuff around? Displayed or in a trunk? For how many generations? Forever?
 
2021-03-02 11:16:45 AM  
Give it to either the VA or recruiter's office? or the VFW or Amvets? I dunno.
When I die, they'll find a safe and crack it and go. "Oh. OH. OOOHHHHHH.
Ok. We get it now."
 
2021-03-02 11:55:00 AM  
I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.
 
2021-03-02 12:08:52 PM  

Riche: I don't want to be disrespectful of the dead's accomplishments and all that, but are the descendants obligated to just keep all that stuff around? Displayed or in a trunk? For how many generations? Forever?


I guess if you come from a long line of military men, keeping your ancestors medals on display seems pretty normal.

It's not like they are bowling trophies or something ya know
 
2021-03-02 12:10:04 PM  

edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.


Well, somebody might.
d26horl2n8pviu.cloudfront.netView Full Size
 
2021-03-02 12:12:54 PM  

edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.


I think you're forgetting a certain orange-hued person who once said, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart."
 
2021-03-02 12:15:52 PM  
Wow, that's just insane.
You take that sh*t to a pawn shop!
 
2021-03-02 12:17:32 PM  
From the article my guess is the father may have been a total jerk in life and the kids wanted nothing to do with him. Or, they were a bunch of ungrateful assholes who couldn't be bothered to respect the person responsible for raising them...

Hard to say honestly. My bet is on the former given all the kids cut ties with him. As a fellow vet my heart goes out to these guys especially given what we know of the trauma being in a war can do to a person and even now how little consideration or assistance is given to vets let alone previous generations of vets.

That said, no amount of justification can negate abuse.
 
2021-03-02 12:18:13 PM  

Rev. Skarekroe: Wow, that's just insane.
You take that sh*t to a pawn shop!


And then take them back home.
 
2021-03-02 12:21:11 PM  

Riche: What to do with a deceased relative's medals, trophies, etc.


Bury the medals with them, toss the trophies.
 
2021-03-02 12:26:36 PM  
Most of this assumes the person is doing it on purpose. It may be more a matter of:

"I donated Grandad's old clothes to the thrift shop"
" What did you do with the medals?"
" Oh crap!"
 
2021-03-02 12:27:06 PM  

Riche: What to do with a deceased relative's medals, trophies, etc.


Yeah, at some point, someone isn't going to necessarily want all the stuff that belonged to a relative.
Nice of the person to track down the relatives and ask if they want it, but not everything needs to be saved for eternity.
It's like every "historical home" - at some point maybe it's OK to just tear it down and build a new house.
 
2021-03-02 12:30:59 PM  

Riche: What to do with a deceased relative's medals, trophies, etc.


I won a golf trophy when my oldest was about 4.  He wanted it so badly that I gave it to him.  He kept in on a shelf in his room.

When he was 12 he walked into the kitchen with the trophy "Last Place?  This is for LAST PLACE"

He had never read it.  Now I refuse to allow him to get rid of it.
 
2021-03-02 12:31:36 PM  
I remember seeing a bunch of Purple Hearts left over from some war or other in a stack at an army surplus store 20 years ago. Why are those places so... weird?
 
2021-03-02 12:31:47 PM  

vudukungfu: Give it to either the VA or recruiter's office? or the VFW or Amvets? I dunno.
When I die, they'll find a safe and crack it and go. "Oh. OH. OOOHHHHHH.
Ok. We get it now."


Why not just release the contents to the authorities now? Clowns have families too, and I'm sure that getting a chance to bury those clown bones would bring them some closure.
 
2021-03-02 12:35:42 PM  
Chemlight Battery:

Something tells me the thrift store jacket isn't a part of any uniform, along with the costume store askew tie, it makes me question the ribbons and medals.

Such a shame that he's so young and decorated and doesn't keep to uniform standard s.
 
2021-03-02 12:36:44 PM  
This would be me....

pbs.twimg.comView Full Size


...if I got a metal for every time I survived a drunken adventure.
 
2021-03-02 12:37:37 PM  
gunther_bumpass:

Military LARPers.
 
2021-03-02 12:38:13 PM  

Riche: I don't want to be disrespectful of the dead's accomplishments and all that, but are the descendants obligated to just keep all that stuff around? Displayed or in a trunk? For how many generations? Forever?


I like being minimalistic, so I refuse to take things in the first place.  If I can't pawn it off to any of my sisters, I donate or toss it.  Fancier stuff goes to non-profits doing silent auction fundraisers.  They're dead, I'm not going to have any children or heirs, so whatever.
 
2021-03-02 12:38:23 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.

I think you're forgetting a certain orange-hued person who once said, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart."


That I don'' have. You earn that the hard way.
 
2021-03-02 12:39:22 PM  
Always thought the military had a department for this sort of thing. Returning or storing lost medals.
 
2021-03-02 12:46:18 PM  

Sim Tree: Most of this assumes the person is doing it on purpose. It may be more a matter of:

"I donated Grandad's old clothes to the thrift shop"
" What did you do with the medals?"
" Oh crap!"


Since he had no family it was probably up to some stranger who worked for the company that cleaned up his house or an aide at the assisted living to just box up everything and get rid of it.

My brother, who is retired Air Force, has all of our Dad's WW2 military stuff (but copied paper records for me, the family historian). My grandfather's WW1 medals were buried with him.
 
2021-03-02 12:46:56 PM  

AuralArgument: gunther_bumpass:

Military LARPers.


I hope i don't fall into that category.
I just went there for cheap shoulder bags and comfortable clothing.
It's pretty obvious I didn't fight in WWII or Vietnam, so I don't think a pair of pants or an old jacket is a big deal.

I sure as hell don't wear medals. My rule is I can only wear one old military item at any given time. More than that it gets weird. And I don't really do it that often anyway. But you'll have to pry my B-2 cap off of my cold, dead head.
 
2021-03-02 12:58:42 PM  
d2t8nixuow17vt.cloudfront.netView Full Size
 
2021-03-02 1:00:26 PM  

Chemlight Battery: edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.

Well, somebody might.
[d26horl2n8pviu.cloudfront.net image 800x800]


What, no Path Finder badge? What a noob. Though I have to say it's pretty impressive for an Airman to have Air Assault and Airborne training, let alone a Combat Infantry badge.
Mostly because that's Army stuff.
 
2021-03-02 1:02:24 PM  

Chemlight Battery: edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.

Well, somebody might.
[d26horl2n8pviu.cloudfront.net image 800x800]


Just noticed he has an Antarctica service ribbon. 😆
 
2021-03-02 1:06:00 PM  

Capt_Clown: From the article my guess is the father may have been a total jerk in life and the kids wanted nothing to do with him. Or, they were a bunch of ungrateful assholes who couldn't be bothered to respect the person responsible for raising them...

Hard to say honestly. My bet is on the former given all the kids cut ties with him. As a fellow vet my heart goes out to these guys especially given what we know of the trauma being in a war can do to a person and even now how little consideration or assistance is given to vets let alone previous generations of vets.

That said, no amount of justification can negate abuse.


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. How do you have eight kids and then become estranged from all of them? My guess is PTSD, alcohol, and addiction issues. Seems like he may have died in his 50s as well and the only person he had any sort of relationship with by the end was his doctor.
 
2021-03-02 1:14:23 PM  
My wife and I are going to have this come up when my Mother-in-Law passes. FIL's Purple Heart and burial flag are in a frame in her house. I suspect we'll get it since wife's brother's house is chocked full of stuff.
 
2021-03-02 1:14:44 PM  

MythDragon: Chemlight Battery: edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.

Well, somebody might.
[d26horl2n8pviu.cloudfront.net image 800x800]

What, no Path Finder badge? What a noob. Though I have to say it's pretty impressive for an Airman to have Air Assault and Airborne training, let alone a Combat Infantry badge.
Mostly because that's Army stuff.


And a CIB with two stars. You have to really go out of your way to find one of those.
 
2021-03-02 1:15:17 PM  

Sim Tree: Most of this assumes the person is doing it on purpose. It may be more a matter of:

"I donated Grandad's old clothes to the thrift shop"
" What did you do with the medals?"
" Oh crap!"


This.  Hanlon's Razor is probably in play.  It well could have been done by the person handling the estate sale.  Things that don't sell go to Goodwill or similar, or the dump.

I'm a member of the American Legion and we get "I found this medal <wherever>" calls/visits on a monthly basis.

Also, a lot of veterans don't even want their medals.  All too often they bring up painful memories and the vets are happy to leave them in a box, only to be found after they've passed.
 
2021-03-02 1:18:04 PM  

NotThatGuyAgain: Sim Tree: Most of this assumes the person is doing it on purpose. It may be more a matter of:

"I donated Grandad's old clothes to the thrift shop"
" What did you do with the medals?"
" Oh crap!"

This.  Hanlon's Razor is probably in play.  It well could have been done by the person handling the estate sale.  Things that don't sell go to Goodwill or similar, or the dump.

I'm a member of the American Legion and we get "I found this medal <wherever>" calls/visits on a monthly basis.

Also, a lot of veterans don't even want their medals.  All too often they bring up painful memories and the vets are happy to leave them in a box, only to be found after they've passed.


That was my father.

16 months on the Burma Road never far from his mind. He tossed his Bronze Star during a move.
 
2021-03-02 1:20:14 PM  
I'll tell you one thing, I Saw a lotta hell come out of that thrift shop.
 
2021-03-02 1:28:29 PM  

Another Government Employee: NotThatGuyAgain: Sim Tree: Most of this assumes the person is doing it on purpose. It may be more a matter of:

"I donated Grandad's old clothes to the thrift shop"
" What did you do with the medals?"
" Oh crap!"

This.  Hanlon's Razor is probably in play.  It well could have been done by the person handling the estate sale.  Things that don't sell go to Goodwill or similar, or the dump.

I'm a member of the American Legion and we get "I found this medal <wherever>" calls/visits on a monthly basis.

Also, a lot of veterans don't even want their medals.  All too often they bring up painful memories and the vets are happy to leave them in a box, only to be found after they've passed.

That was my father.

16 months on the Burma Road never far from his mind. He tossed his Bronze Star during a move.


My old man only got the 'participation trophy' medals.  WWII Victory and the Army of Occupation (with Japan Device).

Despite serving again during the Korean conflict he never knew, or perhaps never bothered, to get them until he was talking with a funeral director about being inurned at Arlington.  The funeral director told him he could get the medals so dad said "what the hell, I earned em, let's get 'em," back in 2005 or so.

They currently live in a Ziploc bag in my safe with all of his patches, brass, and other assorted odds and ends from his military service.  I should really send them off to a nephew, come to think of it.
 
2021-03-02 1:29:08 PM  

edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.


This. I have all of that shiat in a foot locker that hasn't been opened in 10 years. It's worthless crap (to me, anyway). If my daughter wants them, she can have them. If not, they can be trashed.
 
2021-03-02 1:31:42 PM  
I threw all of my medals and awards away.  My wife raised a shiate storm and made me get them back out and store them in the attic "in case the kids want them" or something.
 
2021-03-02 1:34:29 PM  
I keep my army medals and awards and certificates on display at my house in my man-cave. I don't know what will happen to them when I die. I hope that whomever gets them does something nice with them. I won't be around to find out but eventually entropy will get everything in the end, the Universe will stop expanding, get cold, and then turn everything back to dust from which it came from in the first place.
 
2021-03-02 1:35:04 PM  
If there is no one left to understand who or why they got it... it's just a hunk of metal.
 
2021-03-02 1:45:59 PM  
Oh for Pete's sake, a Purple Heart is a true heirloom as you have to be wounded in combat to get one of those.
 
2021-03-02 1:54:31 PM  
It is always a question what to do with them.  Dad was in the Navy but never did anything outside have a good time in Europe, didn't get the free trip to Korea. My sister I think has his ribbons somewhere with the flag from his burial.  It will get surplused after she passes I guess since I doubt my kids want them and she doesn't have any.
 
2021-03-02 2:06:03 PM  

kdawg7736: Oh for Pete's sake, a Purple Heart is a true heirloom as you have to be wounded in combat to get one of those.


Back in my National Guard days there were a bunch of Vietnam era guys putting in their time for retirement benefits.  Of those that had one or more Purple Hearts, 90% considered it a "You forgot to duck" medal (which granted as they were still on duty status probably meant that they got it for relatively minor wounds & not limbs blown off or such).  Important as it shows you literally shed blood for your country, but most of the men I knew with one (thankfully I never was in a situation to earn it...) wouldn't consider it an heirloom.  YYMV depending on the severity of the injury that earned it of course.

/one of the funnier stories that was told about 'earning' one was by my platoon sergeant at the time.  When he was in Vietnam his base came under mortar attack one time.  He was running to jump in a foxhole/ditch & tripped, falling into the concertina wire which scratched the hell out of him.  He got a PH from it because his 'wounds' came directly from enemy action.
 
2021-03-02 2:11:39 PM  

wild9: Riche: I don't want to be disrespectful of the dead's accomplishments and all that, but are the descendants obligated to just keep all that stuff around? Displayed or in a trunk? For how many generations? Forever?

I guess if you come from a long line of military men, keeping your ancestors medals on display seems pretty normal.

It's not like they are bowling trophies or something ya know


The funny thing is that my family is huge on maintaining the medals of all the men in the family too, and they even had a Bible that was passed along to each military male.

...Then they skipped me, because despite being the first Air Force Academy graduate and officer in the family, I was a female. My enlisted brother even pointed out the hypocrisy when they gave him the family Bible. She insisted that it went to the military males...never mind the fact that a military female was not really an option until recently.

A few more gender-based transgressions later, I stopped talking to her altogether, and she is constantly upset about it and whines to my brother about it.

...and like that, the obligation of maintaining the family's crap has been dissolved because they are conservative jerks.

/minor rant, but I agree in that families are not obligated to hang onto the stuff of the deceased. That is how you end up with too much crap in the house.
 
2021-03-02 2:14:09 PM  

Snaptastic: wild9: Riche: I don't want to be disrespectful of the dead's accomplishments and all that, but are the descendants obligated to just keep all that stuff around? Displayed or in a trunk? For how many generations? Forever?

I guess if you come from a long line of military men, keeping your ancestors medals on display seems pretty normal.

It's not like they are bowling trophies or something ya know

The funny thing is that my family is huge on maintaining the medals of all the men in the family too, and they even had a Bible that was passed along to each military male.

...Then they skipped me, because despite being the first Air Force Academy graduate and officer in the family, I was a female. My enlisted brother even pointed out the hypocrisy when they gave him the family Bible. She insisted that it went to the military males...never mind the fact that a military female was not really an option until recently.

A few more gender-based transgressions later, I stopped talking to her altogether, and she is constantly upset about it and whines to my brother about it.

...and like that, the obligation of maintaining the family's crap has been dissolved because they are conservative jerks.

/minor rant, but I agree in that families are not obligated to hang onto the stuff of the deceased. That is how you end up with too much crap in the house.


Sorry, I failed to write that the "she" above is my grandmother. (Oops)
 
2021-03-02 2:34:26 PM  

Chemlight Battery: edmo: I've got my dad's medals. I've got mine. Nobody else would want them.

Well, somebody might.
[d26horl2n8pviu.cloudfront.net image 800x800]


wow! is that his real name?
any idea what that actually means in Greek?
because THAT is irony
 
2021-03-02 3:23:36 PM  
Talladega Nights | Dinner Scene "Chip, I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey"
Youtube AfLtst6mC0Q
 
2021-03-02 4:01:07 PM  
Not sure how to handle my (departed) Dad's WWII metals after I'm gone - I'm single / never married / no kids and end of the line for this branch of the family tree.  Maybe a cousin who's Dad was an older brother to my father.  Shrug.
 
2021-03-02 4:09:16 PM  
gunther_bumpass:

Nope, it's once you start going everything.....


I've got a ww1 officer's trench coat...( Cdn).
 
2021-03-02 4:09:34 PM  

FrostbiteFallsMN: Not sure how to handle my (departed) Dad's WWII metals after I'm gone - I'm single / never married / no kids and end of the line for this branch of the family tree.  Maybe a cousin who's Dad was an older brother to my father.  Shrug.


A friend of mine donated his grandfather's medals to a VFW-run historical preservation society in his grandfather's hometown. That society added the medals and a bio of his grandfather to a museum exhibit about soldiers from the town.

That's something to consider, at least.
 
2021-03-02 4:12:37 PM  

Jgok: FrostbiteFallsMN: Not sure how to handle my (departed) Dad's WWII metals after I'm gone - I'm single / never married / no kids and end of the line for this branch of the family tree.  Maybe a cousin who's Dad was an older brother to my father.  Shrug.

A friend of mine donated his grandfather's medals to a VFW-run historical preservation society in his grandfather's hometown. That society added the medals and a bio of his grandfather to a museum exhibit about soldiers from the town.

That's something to consider, at least.


Oooh, thank you for that suggestion!  I'll certainly keep that mind.
 
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