Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Purple Heart reunited with family of Korean War hero after being discovered in a tool boxSubmitted: 08/01/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin
Reporter/Anchor
sgoin@wjfw.com

Purple Heart reunited with family of Korean War hero after being discovered in a tool box
ANTIGO - Nine pennies sit on a tombstone in Antigo after a memorial Thursday where the family of a fallen soldier honored his service with that military tradition. 

It was for a 16-year-old who fought and died in the Korean War; whose Purple Heart was lost for years until it was found in an unlikely place.

"I was sitting there minding my own business last Sunday, she called out the blue I thought she was trying scam me," said army veteran Greg Marvin.

A Wabeno man, Ron Marvin, also an Army veteran, found a Purple Heart belonging to Karl in toolbox last week. Greg is Karl's nephew. A friend of Marvin's traced that connection back to Greg after seeing his name on the Korean War Project website and called him.

For Greg's cousin Tim, the dots were connected in different way. 
 
"Somehow or other [sic] it ended up on Channel 12 … said that Ron is looking for someone in the Bera family to give this medal to," said Tim Bera.

After this story was posted to Facebook, Newswatch 12 was able to connect Marvin to Tim's side of the family as well. In less than one week, a handful of family members made plans to meet at Queen of Peace Cemetery in Anitgo to receive the Purple Heart and see Karl laid to rest next to his sister, Verna

"We can't just thank him enough. It was something. He didn't have to," said Greg. "It deserves to be somewhere other than a tool box."

"It's totally awesome, awesome, and they're such a nice family I'm glad it worked out the way it did," said Marvin.

Among the family members in attendance Thursday was Greg's daughter and Karl's great niece Katie who also served in the Army.

"It's amazing that he's at the forefront of our thoughts today and that he's getting the honor that he deserves every day," said Katie.

After exchanging the medal, Marvin and the Bera family discussed Karl's military service. They believe Karl, who had 12 siblings, concealed his real age to fight in the Korean War.

"Karl volunteered at 16 and died at 16," said Marvin. "That takes one hell of a man to do something like that."

The family also noted how Karl's medal brought them together for a reunion of sorts. 

"Everyone here besides my parents I had not met before," said Katie. "It's been a pretty crazy experience and we're just really grateful," said Katie.

No one knew out how the Purple Heart ended up in a stranger's tool box, but Greg says more of Karl's military commendations may have been lost throughout the years.

Marvin had the following advice for anyone who may find a military medal in the future.

"If you do find them, try as hard as you can to get them back and you'll be grateful that you did," said Marvin.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Carpenters, masons and other skilled laborers from Lac du Flambeau will soon restore a government owned, Great Depression era lodge in Taylor Co.

+ Read More

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Just before 6:00 p.m.Tuesday a crash happened at the intersection of Kildare road and Highway 47.

Firefighters say the adult female driver and her passenger rolled over into a ditch.

A lake tomahawk firefighter says the weather conditions contributed to this accident.

"Initially looking at the way the scene has kind of built out I would say that the precipitation, the snow and the rain that we got falling definitely was a contributing factor," said Mike Carlin, the assistant fire chief.

The driver and her passenger will be seeking further medical care, but did not leave in an ambulance.

Injuries are currently unknown.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Winter approaching means road crews need to prepare for snow and ice.

+ Read More

MADISON - The nation's largest independent spice retailer is peppering Facebook with ads calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Wisconsin-based Penzeys Spices spent nearly $100,000 on Facebook ads last week calling for Trump's impeachment, making it one of the largest social media spenders on impeachment to date.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - On Tuesday, The Northern Advantage Job Center and Grow North Regional Economic Development hosted the first annual Fall Community Fair

The event helps bring awareness to the the services and employment opportunities in the Northwoods.

It featured employers offering flexible job opportunities including work from home positions.

The community fair not only catered to people looking for jobs, it also doubled as an event for the whole family to enjoy.

"We have face painting, life music, activities for the kids, and we have treats donated from Walmart," said Tammy Kowalczyk, an employment training specialist. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - It might be difficult to stay fully informed about mental illnesses and diseases.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is trying to change that through public activity.

NAMI is an organization founded in 1979 that attempts to raise awareness about mental health. The Northern Lakes chapter in Rhinelander, which serves Forest, Oneida and Vilas counties, participated in a national Mental Illness Awareness Week from Oct. 6-12.

"So what we're trying to do with Mental Illness Awareness Week is just increase the knowledge that people have about these illnesses and the fact that they're organic illnesses like any other illness you can name," said NAMI Northern Lakes Executive Director Mick Fiocchi.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN - A pair of Democratic hopefuls will enter the race for Sean Duffy's former seat in Congress. Tricia Zunker and Lawrence Dale both announced their candidacy Monday morning, joining several Republicans already in the race.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: