FISHERS, Ind. — An Indiana man has a mission to return a Purple Heart back to the family of John L. Oliver. Ron Patterson says a friend got the plaque during an estate sale and asked him to find Oliver's family.
Patterson says, the plaque mentions 1919 to 1944, so he made the assumption about the birth and death dates, but turns out Oliver died in 1983 according to an obituary.
“This gentleman came from the greatest generation,” Patters on told CBS Affiliate WTTV. During his research on the family, Patterson said he learned Oliver and his wife were train enthusiasts and were once featured in the local paper in Fishers, Indiana.
For Patterson, returning the Purple Heart has a much deeper meaning. As a paratrooper himself, this is a personal journey. One that he won’t stop until the plaque is honored and respected in the right way.
“We try and support the family and the fallen who’ve gone before us. I’ll consider it a failure if I don’t find a home where this Purple Heart will be loved and honored at,” Patterson told the television station.
If he is not able to find any family members, Patterson says he will donate it to an American Legion so it’s honored and respected by people in the community.
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