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Widow Donated Precious Memories To Goodwill By Mistake - Good Samaritans Get Them Back To Her

A widow in Kentucky was doing a big house cleaning and getting rid of boxes of old stuff she didn't need anymore. She sent the donations to Goodwill.

But, unfortunately, she sent something that was not supposed to go: her late husband's World War II medals. She didn't even realize she had accidentally given them away until a person found them and realized it must have been a mistake.

Natalya Cox donated the medals, which included a Purple Heart, to a St. Louis Goodwill. She'd been remodeling her house and was cleaning things out in an attempt to cut down on the clutter, but she never would have intentionally given the medals away.

"I still could not imagine how I put that box with the medals in there," Cox told the Post-Dispatch.

The medals belonged to Mrs. Cox's late husband, WWII veteran Marvin Cox. He joined the military in his late teens. Fighting in the war, he was injured severely in an explosion. He lost a number of teeth, and received the Purple Heart for it.

Mr. Cox passed away in 2009.

When the Goodwill employees were going through the donations, they stumbled upon the boxes of medals and immediately realized that it must be a mistake. These medals are not something that families just give away to strangers.

The workers took note of the name of the person who donated the items with which the medals were sent, and they planned to return them. They just wanted to do one thing first, as an added surprise, so that they would never be lost again.

The workers called Natalya to come pick up the precious mementos. The widow got the call on Tuesday and was shocked, because she didn't even realize they were gone.

"I'm very thankful that people could investigate and return it to me," said the widow. "I'm very glad to have them back.... I was very excited."

When they presented the medals back to the woman in their new framed display case, she was thrilled. Now she says she won't ever risk losing them again, and she can keep out on display.

"I can put it on a wall and display it," she said. "It's very nice."

For some families, the loss of a loved one's military medals can be a devastating blow. Unfortunately, it happens more than you might think. An elderly veteran passes away, a family sells a house and moves, they give away old boxes from the attic without going through them thoroughly enough, and just like that the medals can be gone.

If people find medals, they can go to and request a list of personnel files to help track down the service member, or his family.

Veterans and their next-of-kin can also request replacement medals if they don't think they'll be able to track down the original. There is a process and sometimes a fee involved, but if they can provide proof that the medal was awarded they can get a new one.

Source: Fox News
Photo: YouTube, Mers Goodwill, Flickr/US Army Africa, Mike Mozart

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