Purple Heart medal found in Arizona pawnshop back to family



Cop gets Purple Heart at the pawn shop, returns to family

A Tucson police officer recovered a Purple Heart that was awarded to a world war i veteran from a local pawnshop, where the colonel of the family.

A Purple Heart medal earned decades ago was reunited with relatives of a world war I veteran on Wednesday, after it was found in an Arizona pawnshop.

The Tucson Police Department said Officer Jim Caccavale saw the medal belonging to Leon Elie Lyon a few months ago, after reviewing the reports of the local pawnshops, and contact with the group Purple Hearts Reunited, which helps return lost or stolen medals to veterans and military families.

The person who sold the coin to the pawn shop claimed that it came from Ohio about 20 years ago. Glen Lyon, the colonel and the grandson told Tucson News Now that his family never thought they would see the medal again.

“If someone takes something from you, you never expect it to come back,” he said. “The opportunity, I think, one in a million.”

Colonel Leon Elie Lyon earned the Purple Heart for his service in the first world War.


Purple Hearts Reunited said that Lyon served during World War 1 as an Army engineer officer, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel before he was injured. After his honorable discharge in October, 1919, he came back in the service of the follow year and remained in service until the early 1940’s.


He made the rank of colonel in Feb. 1942, before he died the following year, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the group.

“My grandfather, who I never met, that’s pretty sad,” Lyon’s grandson, said Wednesday. “But I’m really very happy that the Purple Heart back.”

The officer who has the medal said that the sound for $20, and he’s already found a Purple Heart with the other medals that were reported stolen and sold for $120.

Glen Lyon was reunited with his grandfather’s Purple Heart medal on Wednesday.


“I hope I don’t find anymore. Because then it means that that they will be with the families where they belong,” Caccavale said.

The police told Tucson News Now that no charges were filed in both cases, but everyone who is selling or pawning of a service medal who did not belong to them can be held responsible.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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