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Military Medals, Abandoned Or Forgotten, Returned To Veterans And Military Families

Lyndsey Quinlan
West Virginia Treasurer's Office
A color guard team prepares to post the colors at the military medal return ceremony.

At a ceremony held at the Culture Center Thursday morning, State Treasurer Riley Moore returned military medals, abandoned and forgotten, in safe deposit boxes, to veterans and their families.

Reforms to the state's Unclaimed Property Act allowed the treasurer’s office to eliminate a lengthy process and return these types of items directly to their rightful owners.

“Without these changes, prior to this bill, families would have to go through a cumbersome process,” Moore said. “They would have to settle out old safety deposit boxes with the banks, then go to a notary public to get a notarized document showing their balance had been taken care of, then they'd have to go file paperwork with my office and we could send their belongings back to them via mail.”

The ceremony honored 13 veterans from all military branches who served in wars ranging from World War II to Vietnam.

West Virginia National Guard Adj. General William Crane told the receiving families these medals had been hidden away for too long and needed a place of prominence.

“I hope that the families will display these in a really high place of honor, because they deserve to be displayed that way,” Crane said. “They don't need to be in a safety deposit box.”

Reforms to the Unclaimed Property Act now allow the state to settle any bank fees with the owners or heirs of military medals.

Government Reporter, ryohe@wvpublic.org, 304-634-8123

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