Family Didn’t Even Bother To Keep The Veteran Medals Safely.

Story by Roger Dean Kiser (Author)

I decided to go into the Goodwill Store and look around while my wife was picking up a few items at the local Pharmacy next door.

I generally do not go into second hand stores, as a rule. I guess because as a young boy I lived on the streets for many years and had to depend upon clothes and shoes from such places. I swore that I would never purchase anything from those types of stores ever again. But for some strange reason I broke my rule.

As I walked around I looked at all the racks of worn shoes, faded pants and shirts. All lined against the wall just as they had been when I was a kid forty-five years ago. It was really quite sad for me to be in such a place.

As I waked around I happen to notice a few military medals laying in a box next to a tray of old tarnished silverware. I began fumbling through the medals and was surprised to find a purple heart.

I had never actually seen a purple heart before. I picked up the medal and I held it in my hand. I stood there wondering what brave soldier had received this honor and if he, or she, were still alive today. I could hardly believe that anyone would discard such a precious thing. I put the medal back into to tray and continued looking around the store. No matter how hard I tried I just could not get that darn metal out of my mind.

I walked up to the front of the store and I asked the woman how much the medals cost.

“Twenty-five cents.” She replied.

“Why would anyone throw away something like that?” I asked her.

“Maybe it belonged to someone who died and when their estate was sold at auction the medal no longer had a value,” she told me.

I immediately walked back to the back of the store and I retrieved the purple heart from the small cardboard box. I then walked, without speaking, to the front of the store where I purchased the medal. I then went to my truck where I waited for my wife.

After she came out of the pharmacy she asked me if I had found anything of value.

“As a matter of fact I did. I found something that was priceless and I purchased it for only a quarter.” I told her. When we arrived home I cleaned up the medal and its ribbon, as best I could, and then I wrapped it in a small American Flag and I buried it with honor, along with a copy of the Bill of Rights which I had kept from my junior high school days.

I no longer hold myself to that rule that I made many years ago. Unfortunately, There re many priceless items that can be found in the local Goodwill Store.

To know more about the Author: The Books and Stories of Roger Dean Kiser
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