A Clifton Park resident gets the gift of a lifetime, when he receives the medals of his late brother who served in WWII. The medals had been missing for more than ten years.
YNN's Madeleine Rivera reports.
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- "He was kind of like my hero," said Clifton Park resident, John Capper Jr.
For more than 60 years, he has kept a picture of his late brother in his wallet.
"I'm so proud of my brother," he said.
His brother Staff Sergeant Robert Capper served during WWII as an Aircraft Gunner. He was injured in October, 1944 when his plane was shot down by enemy fire.
"He went away as a young 18 year old and came back a middle aged man, you know what I mean?" said Capper.
He received the Purple Heart and the Air Medal for his service. After the war, he moved to California and lived there until he died in November 2001. Not long after his death, his medals and dog tags went missing.
"His wife acquired the medals and gave them to a family friend right before she passed," said Purple Hearts Reunited founder, Captain Zachariah Fike.
The medals and the tags landed in the hands of a woman in Utah.
"She read one of my return stories in the news. And, she wanted to reach out to me to see if I could help her with a lost medal," said Fike.
The woman donated the medals and the tags to Purple Hearts Reunited.
"What we do is through research is we determine every medal would have been entitled to and we get them free of charge, and we frame them as a complete package," said Fike.
That package, consisting of a total of 6 medals, is now with the hero's family.
"I will donate this to the War Museum up in Saratoga and hope that people will see what these young fellows did," said Capper.