State’s right to return the property of heroes | News, Sports, Jobs


Often when we talk about unclaimed property held by the state, we’re talking about a few dollars in a bank account or something else that was, well, forgettable for a reason.

But this time, when the West Virginia Department of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division opened its safes, it was to make a very important keepsake.

Medals and other memorabilia have been returned to the families of 13 West Virginia veterans who served in World War II, Vietnam and Korea, after a law change meant those people would not have to jump through all the hoops in King Bureaucracy to get them.

“These items represent the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans, and I believe they should be handled with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said state treasurer Riley Moore.

Almost all of these veterans whose items have been returned have already left us – some as early as 1940. But their families now have another way to keep in touch with those who served their country.

West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. William Crane said he kept a Bible his grandfather carried with him when he fought in World War II.

“Ultimately, it’s paper, but there’s so much behind that paper, just like there’s so much behind those bits of tape and bits of metal,” he said.

Those who made it easier for families to receive these ribbons and metal coins are to be commended for their understanding and execution.

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