Since 1983, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt has returned over $261 million to more than 592,000 individuals. Each year, millions of dollars are turned over to my office as lost and abandoned. Unclaimed property comes in many forms such as savings and checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents. Those safe deposit boxes many times contain mementos from long-ago wars such as military medals. The military medals that come to my vault for safekeeping commemorate services in nearly every branch. We have an World War II Victory medal, Bronze Star, Army Combat Infantryman Badge, and a Purple Heart in our vault for safekeeping. This is why Memorial Day has special significance for me.
We do not know the details of the fear, bravery, survival or heroism; but we do know there is a story behind each of these items. Once turned over to my office, we work to reunite these items to their proper owners or heirs. New chapters are written as we successfully return the long-lost medals to a soldier or the soldier’s heirs.
These medals are reminders of the sacrifices that others have made for our country and the significance of Memorial Day. To our military volunteers and their families, thank you.
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