Purple Heart Found on Playground to be Returned


MANLIUS, N.Y. — A Purple Heart medal posthumously awarded to a New York soldier killed in Vietnam is being returned to his widow and daughter 15 years after it was found on a school playground.

Purple Hearts Reunited says Pfc. Thomas McGraw's medal will be presented to his family next Tuesday during a ceremony in Manlius, near Syracuse.

McGraw was killed in an ambush in February 1966 while serving with the Army's 1st Cavalry Division. The Purple Heart disappeared and didn't turn up until around 1999, when a fourth-grade student found it outside a suburban Syracuse elementary school.

In January, the mother of the boy who found the medal contacted Purple Hearts Reunited, which tracked down McGraw's wife and their daughter.

The Vermont-based group returns lost or stolen military medals to veterans and their families.

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