WWI veteran’s long lost Purple Heart returned to his family

SKANEATELES, N.Y. (AP) — A long lost Purple Heart medal awarded to a World War I veteran wounded in a gas attack has been returned to his family in central New York.

Vermont-based Purple Hearts Reunited says the medal belonged to Cpl. Everett Jesse Proper, who was born in 1894 in a Catskill Mountains town. He served with the U.S. Army’s 77th Infantry Division in France, where he was gassed in August 1918.

Proper survived the war. He died in 1981.

Proper’s Purple Heart medal was found in a house near Lee, New Hampshire. Purple Hearts Reunited was contacted, and it tracked down Proper’s great-nephew, Victor Swart of Skaneateles (skin-ee-AT’-luhs).

Purple Hearts Reunited founder Zachariah Fike returned the medal Sunday to the Swart family at their home 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of Syracuse.

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