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N.C. Man To Be Reunited With Purple Heart From WWII

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File photo of a Purple Heart, displayed on a Christmas tree. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a Purple Heart, displayed on a Christmas tree. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who mailed his Purple Heart home from France almost 70 years ago is getting it back in a ceremony in Rutherfordton.

Ninety-year-old George Hemphill will reclaim the Purple Heart he earned during World War II in France at a ceremony Sunday. He mailed it home and assumed it was in a box of his medals that he didn’t open.

A Florida man bought it in an antiques store in Columbia, S.C., in 2000 and held on to it. His friend found Purple Hearts Reunited, a Vermont organization run by Capt. Zachariah Fike. Fike tracked down Hemphill, who also will get a Bronze Star in Sunday’s ceremony.

Hemphill says he’s flabbergasted that so many people worked to reunite him with his Purple Heart.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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