Helen Baker, Verna Shaffer and Tom McGlothlen at a Yelm memorial for their brother.
Photo credit: KING 5-TV News
– “Stolen Purple Heart returning to family in Yelm”
“Fourteen years after a Vietnam veteran’s Purple Heart was stolen out of a car in Tacoma, it turned up in an antique store in Temecula, Calif.
Specialist Jerry Wayne McClothlen earned the medal when he died in Vietnam in 1970.
The 19-year-old was killed when the Army helicopter he was riding in crashed.
The medal was one of the few keepsakes his siblings had to honor McClothlen’s memory and service.
When Joshua Rivera saw the Purple Heart at the antique store, he paid $218 for it.
When he learned it came with paperwork identifying the recipient, he took a picture of the award and went on Facebook trying to find McClothlen’s family.
The paperwork contained information about McClothen, including where he was from – Yelm, Wash.”
“The siblings hope to give the Purple Heart to McGlothlen’s son, Brian Thompson.
But they may need more luck and help from social media.
They have lost touch with Thompson, who they believe lives in Idaho,” quoting Drew Mikkelsen, KING 5-TV News.