Illinois seeks owners of forgotten war medals

November 11, 2011

The Associated Press

Illinois officials hope to return nearly 200 forgotten war medals and other military artifacts to their rightful owners.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced the project — called Operation Reunite — on Friday, Veterans Day.

Former Illinois State Rep. Ron Stephens, a Highland Republican and a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, is the project's honorary chairman.

The treasurer's office takes care of the military artifacts, storing them in a vault beneath the Capitol.

Many items ended up there because they were stored in a family safety deposit box and forgotten. Banks eventually turn over the contents of neglected safety deposit boxes to the treasurer's office.

A list of names connected to the medals, dog tags, ribbons and service records is available on the treasurer's website.

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