Hawkins County family finds Purple Heart, asks for help finding rightful owner

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A local family couldn’t believe their eyes when they found a Purple Heart while cleaning out a foreclosed home two years ago.

Since then, a desperate search has been underway to find family members of the man it belongs to.

The family from Hawkins County reached out to News Channel 11’s Karissa Winstead, in hopes she could return it to the family of one of our nation’s heroes.

Josh and Candice Bellamy found the Purple Heart in 2015.

“It was in an out building in a box. A lot of trash and stuff out there,” Josh explained.

They said it was in a box labeled “trash”.

“It’s devastating to know that man all he’s done for his country so that we can run free and hopefully it got misplaced in a box that said trash. I would hate to think it got put there on purpose,” he said.

They started doing some digging and found out who this man was.

“It belongs to Eulis G. Grace he was a corporal in the US Army,” Candice said.

But other than finding out a few other details, they weren’t sure where to go from there.

“We’d just like for it to be returned to somebody in his family. I know that I would appreciate it and I think that they would too,” Josh said.

News Channel 11 came across a foundation called “Purple Hearts Reunited”.

Founder Zachariah Fike quickly got to work.

In less than two hours, he found nearly half a dozen family members who are still living.

“He was born right there in Johnson City, Tennessee. So he’s a Johnson City boy,” Fike said.

Grace was killed in action in Korea on December 12, 1950.

He found that Grace was married and had a son, Eulis Grace Junior. He also received the Purple Heart during his military service years later. But he passed away in 2012.

He did have children though, which would be Grace Senior’s grandchildren.

Fike tried to reach some of his family members who are still alive.

“We have yet to receive a call back,” he said.

But it’s one step closer to finding a home for Eulis G. Grace Senior’s Purple Heart.

Fike says priority would go to his wife if she is still alive. If not, one of his five grandchildren would get it.

We will continue to follow this story and will let you know when the Purple Heart goes to its rightful owner.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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