State of Florida needs help returning unclaimed military medals

The Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Anthony L. Taylor.

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the state of Florida is hoping to get long-lost military medals back to servicemembers or their families.

State CFO Jimmy Patronis on Thursday announced 'Operation Return the Valor' with the goal of reuniting veterans or their heirs with any medals that may have been lost or forgotten in Florida safety deposit boxes.

“Florida alone is home to approximately 61,600 World War II veterans, and their bravery must never be forgotten,” Patronis stated. “We can honor these brave military servicemembers by returning these medals which represent incredible sacrifice. This is the least we can do to honor their courage and bravery.”

According to the state, there are nearly 40 unclaimed medals currently in the Florida Unclaimed Property program. Patronis asked anyone with knowledge of family or friends of veterans who are missing medals from their service to contact the Department of Financial Services, or go to

Names of medal owners identified in ‘Operation Return the Valor’”
• Earl R. Johnson
• Dina R. Howard
• John Woska
• Richard Anderson
• Charles Conklin
• Jean Glaser
• John J. Koss
• Leah Eddington
• Martha G. Perfetti
• Richard Stephens
• Virgil Rice