(CBS) — In Grayslake Sunday, a Purple Heart is being returned to the family of a soldier killed in World War II.

Chicagoan Thomas Bateman was killed in combat in the Philippines June 3, 1945. His family was awarded his Purple Heart, but the medal became lost. Another man found it and kept it for years.

Captain Zachariah Fike, founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, helped get the medal back where it belongs.
“We were able to find not only the son in this case, who never met his father, he was only ten-months-old when his father died, we found through some articles in the Chicago area a World War II veteran who was there the day that Thomas Bateman died,” Capt. Fike said.

He says the meeting of those men sends a message.

“Those medals symbolize so much. They symbolize a soldier who has shed his blood or in a lot of cases given his life to his country,” Capt. Fike said. “Those medals should be with the family.”

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