A Chicago veteran discovered a Purple Heart certificates relationship again to 1944 in his storage – and we wish to return it to the recipient’s household

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a major piece of historical past and a logo of braveness and sacrifice – this week, a Purple Heart certificates was present in a darkish and dusty storage on the town’s Southwest Side.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Tuesday evening, an area veteran is now on a brand new mission – linking him to a different hero who paid the final word sacrifice.

It all began when veteran Kerry Johnson discovered himself “tired of the garbage being cluttered.” He grabbed is broom and started cleansing out his storage.

He by no means imagined what was tucked and hidden within the rafters.

“I just so happened to go up there messing with them boxes – what did I find?” Johnson mentioned.

His eyes grew to become locked on a dusty cylinder object.

“As a I got up, I noticed it, and I reached and grabbed it – and I brought it down just like this. I opened it,” Johnson mentioned as he climbed down a ladder to reveal. “I said, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ And I opened it up – there it was.”

Unbeknownst to Johnson, who’s a U.S. marine veteran, he had found a bit of historical past relationship again to 1944.



“There it was – a certificate for a Purple Heart,” he mentioned.

And being a veteran himself, Johnson knew the importance of that certificates very effectively.

It was signed by the thirty second President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.



“I said, ‘Oh my God – you see how old this is?’” Johnson mentioned.

The certificates was awarded to Private First Class John J. Lynch, who served within the 142nd Infantry, thirty sixth Division.

But Johnson had many questions. Who was this soldier? Where was his household? And how lengthy had been these paperwork tucked away in that storage?

“I thought about it all night, and I said I had to go to news station,” Johnson mentioned, “and I always watch Channel 2.”

Mr. Johnson trusted CBS 2 with the dear data, and our news group went to work. We contacted a number of authorities companies earlier than the Purple Hearts Reunited Organization related the dots.

It seems Pfc. Lynch was from Chicago. A newspaper clipping reveals he died in World War II.

We shared his navy dying discover with Johnson.

Lynch’s navy registration card reveals in 1943, Lynch and his mom, Margaret, on Chicago’s West Side. A yr later, he was killed in motion in France on the age of 19.



Lynch was buried abroad. Now Johnson believes it’s no coincidence he discovered what he did in his storage.

“This veteran right here this is my friend. Even though he’s gone, he’s still a veteran just like me,” Johnson mentioned. “I just hope and pray you find the family – I really do.”

And if Pfc. John Lynch’s household stays in Chicago, or anybody is aware of them, we wish to return the certificates. Johnson has lived in his residence for 5 years, and he mentioned he’s going to maintain wanting by outdated packing containers to see if a Purple Heart medal is tucked away too.

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