BRISTOL, R.I. (WHDH) – A Bristol, Rhode Island man is hoping for the return of three stolen Purple Heart medals he earned serving in WWII.
Arthur Medeiros, 102, earned those medals while serving overseas, including fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. He sustained several injuries while serving, earning him the Purple Hearts. He also earned a bronze star and two silver stars for his bravery.
“I think about all (that) I went through, and then somebody has the nerve to steal it,” he said.
He said he hosted a pandemic-style drive-through birthday party in May 2021, and let a few people in to use the bathroom. That’s when he thinks they were stolen from his living room. He didn’t notice, though, until several months later, when he went to give the medals to his daughter. When she opened the boxes, she saw they were all empty.
“That’s something you wanna leave your grandchildren,” Medeiros said. “Why did they take ’em? I was good enough to let them use my bathroom!”
Several local veterans’ organizations are now stepping in to help replace them, working with Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island to ensure the medals are replaced.
When he gets them back, Medeiros said he’ll pass them on to his daughters and grandson.
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