Illinois treasurer has reunited another Purple Heart with its rightful owner

Illinois treasurer Mike Frerichs. (Facebook/Treasurer Michael Frerichs)

By Dave Dahl

CHICAGO – State treasurer Mike Frerichs used Independence Day week to – for the eleventh time – reunite a Purple Heart medal with its rightful owner.

It came as a surprised to Jim Even, whose father, Jerry, was wounded in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“It wasn’t enough of a wound to keep him out of military service, and he served for five more years,” Even told a Chicago news conference Monday. “After the attack, my grandma didn’t find out for four days if her son was alive or dead, and she finally got a telegram that he was okay.”

Like many of the items in the treasurer’s unclaimed property program, the medal was in a forgotten safe deposit box.

“My father was an accountant – a CPA – so everything was in order, and he planned for his leaving this earth, and so we assumed the safe deposit box was empty. Then, ten years later, i get a call.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


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