GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Relatives of three dead U.S. serviceman gathered at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on Tuesday evening to get the lost Purple Heart medals that their loved ones earned during World War II.
Organized by Purple Hearts Reunited, the medals were awarded to three people. One of them was Staff Sgt. Marinum Gillesse, who was wounded by a sniper in the shoulder on Feb. 26, 1944. He died in 2003 after working as an attendance officer with Grand Rapids Public Schools following his time in the Army. Gillesse's brother, William Gillesse, received the medal.
Pvt. James Nameth Jr. was also awarded a Purple Heart. He was killed in action during World War II in the Philippines. He was 19 years old when he died. His niece, Michele McNulty, received his medal.
Pvt. Clayton Richard was also honored with a Purple Heart. He was killed in 1944 in Germany as he served in the 102nd Infantry Division. Richard's nephew, Dennis Richard, accepted the medal.
Since 2012, Purple Hearts Reunited has returned over 450 lost medals.
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