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Purple Heart found at Goodwill returned to family Friday

TUCSON – The Tucson community came together this week to reunite a Purple Heart medal with S2C Nick D’Amelio Jr.’s family. The award was mistakenly donated to a Tucson Goodwill store.

Tucson Goodwill, Lt. Doug Hanna with Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Sen. Martha McSally held an event at 10:30 a.m., on Friday to return the Purple Heart to the D’Amelio family.

The event took place at the Goodwill Store, 10240 E. Golf Links Rd.

On July 8, Goodwill of Southern Arizona shared a post on their Twitter page saying the medal was donated to the store on Houghton and Golf Links roads in mid-June.

According to a news release, the family of S2C D’Amelio was found and contacted by Purple Hearts Reunited and local private investigators.

“Goodwill is grateful for the numerous phone calls, emails, social media posts and shares to help return the Purple Heart to the family,” said Judith Roman Bucasas, a spokesperson with Goodwill.

About S2C Nick D’Amelio Jr.:

S2C Nick D’Amelio Jr. enlisted in the US Military in 1942 during World War II. His ship, the USS Little was deployed to the Pacific theatre. On September 5, 1942 near Guadalcanal, the USS Little and the USS Gregory, also in the vicinity was attacked by Japanese destroyers. S2C D’Amelio was not recovered and declared missing in action. One year later, the U.S. Navy declared S2C D’Amelio deceased. His memorial is at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.

Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Specialist for KVOA News 4 Tucson. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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