Missing Purple Heart Comes Home To Marion County - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Missing Purple Heart Comes Home To Marion County

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FAIRMONT -

Soldiers earn Purple Hearts when they are killed or wounded in combat.

A Marion County woman got one of those medals on Friday somewhat unexpectedly.

"It's very, very special. I never thought I'd see that again," said Lois Jane Moore, Luster Sullivan's sister.

Lois Moore is talking about a Purple Heart that was awarded to her brother, Luster Sullivan, more than 60 years ago.

"It's extremely important to preserve history. This is part of history. To get this back to a family member after its been lost for 50 to 60 years, is extremely important," said Dr. Martha Fernicola, who brought the Purple Heart to Fairmont.

Sullivan served in World War II and was killed in the Philippines in 1945.

"I really don't remember him. I was only five," Moore said. "They were always talking about him. They had a plaque on the wall for years."

A woman found Sullivan's Purple Heart in a dumpster in Georgia and gave it to her boss, Bill Jervis.

"I ran up against a brick wall trying to find the owner," said Bill Jervis, the employee who found the Purple Heart. "I turned it over to my brother who is ex-military who gave it to Fernicola. She, within a week, found the owner."

"It's really good of them to bring it all this way. They traveled several miles," Moore said.

More than 600 miles, to be exact.

Fernicola said it was important to deliver the Purple Heart face to face.

"It had been lost for so long and I was afraid if I put it in the mail it could get lost again. I didn't want that to happen. To me, it was important enough that it had to go from my hands to her hands," she said.

Members of the VFW Post 7048 in Fairmont organized the presentation of the Purple Heart.

"We've been talking on the phone for the past couple of months and never met anybody up here until today," Fernicola said. "They did an awesome job. They really represented everybody very well."

Moore said she could hardly put her emotions into words.

"I just can hardly believe it," she said.

"Happy endings. I love it," Jervis said.

Lois Moore was Sullivan's last surviving sibling.