- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Purple Heart medal found under a bus stop bench just outside Denver, Colorado, has sparked a search for an elderly veteran who possibly served during World War II.

John McDermott, 25, found the medal, which is awarded to military personnel who were wounded during service, on March 11 in Commerce City. He was on his way to work at the time.

“I opened it up, and I felt my heart slow down a little bit. I took a deep breath and was like, ‘Wow. Someone is going to be missing this.’ I’m thinking whomever this might belong would be in their 90s,” Mr. McDermott told ABC April 2.

Mr. McDermott said he believes the veteran must be older because along with the medal was “Peterson” school tassels from 1940.

“Because this [medal] doesn’t have a name, it’s very challenging,” to find the owner, Zachariah Fike, who runs the nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited, told ABC.

The Vermont-based organization has returned 150 Purple Hearts and other military honors since July 2012, the station reported.

Mr. Fike told ABC that the evidence available indicates that the veteran served in World War II. He plans to see if any “Peterson” schools have a database of alumnae who served and then continue to narrow down his search.

“You’re going to have to take their word for it,” he told ABC of what would happen if family members of veterans contacted during search claimed the medal.

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