A purple heart that went missing for decades is finally back in the hands of a Wisconsin family.
The soldier who earned it, Otto Trapp, died 70 years ago.
On a day where we remember the thousands who have died, so that people back home may enjoy the simple things in life, and the freedoms so many of us take for granted, the VFW of Sun Prairie honors one man in particular, whose spirit came home 70 years after his death in the form of a purple heart.
“I don't know. It's just unreal.”
Sgt. Alan Foss came across the medal 15 years ago at a garage sale in Lake Geneva, on sale for $3.
“I just sat with it and knew that someday I will find where it goes.”
After years of searching, he came across a local VFW named in Trap's honor.
“It's great to have it done. I knew I had to get it done.”
Family members were stunned.
“It was really emotional and just wonderful.”
Trapp received the medal 70 years ago, when his B-26 bomber crash landed off the coast of France. He was reported killed in action. The medal was then given to his mother, who died a few years later.
Her possessions were then given to her surviving relatives.
“So, my mother went into the home and she collected pictures.”
But the purple heart was nowhere to be found. Until today.
“I'm just so grateful. I mean, it's like this was meant to be and meant to be today.”
The story soon spread throughout the town, giving locals something extra special to celebrate this Memorial Day… bringing a long lost soldier home.
“The purple heart is where it belongs. My mission is complete.”