This photo provided by Goodwill Industries in Buffalo, N.Y., shows Pvt. James Roland and the Purple Heart medal he earned serving in World War II. The medal was found in June by Goodwill employee Richard Zuehlke while he was unpacking donations. (AP)
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WESTOVER, PA. — A Purple Heart medal found at a Goodwill store in New York has made it back to western Pennsylvania, where the recipient is buried and his family still lives.
WJAC-TV reports that Goodwill employee Richard Zuehlke found the medal while sorting through boxes, and the agency posted news about the find online. The Patriot Guard Riders heard about the medal and arranged to return it to the family of James Roland, a soldier killed in Italy in 1944.
Roland is buried at Westover Baptist Church in Clearfield County, and a relative of his, Mary Roland-Struble, was there to receive it Saturday.
She says, “They don’t just give the Purple Heart to anybody. You have to do something extraordinary and he did, he gave his life for his country.”