An auctioneer who bought a storage unit in Memphis in hopes of turning a profit found two items of high value that belong to an Mid-South solider Don E. Williams, who served during the Vietnam War.
The Lepanto, Ark., auctioneer who found a Purple Heart medal and Bronze Star with a V device for Valor and accompanying framed citations, doesn't want his name mentioned; he just wants to make sure the medals get back to the soldier, who is also from Lepanto, or his family.
Army veteran Steve Jernigan, who is also the mayor of Lepanto, has also joined in on the search for the solider.
"They brought the stuff back over here, and they started going through it," Mayor Jernigan said. "While going through the boxes and materials they found these medals, and since I am the local American Legion commander, they asked me if I would help find this person."
The two medals are among the highest honors bestowed upon military servicemen and women - a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart and the framed citations that go with them. They were awarded to Specialist Fourth Class Williams for actions in Vietnam on April 11, 1966.
"The guy won the Bronze Star! He had to do something outstanding, in order to be awarded that star," Mayor Jernigan said. "You get the Purple Heart for being wounded in battle. Evidently he was wounded in battle and he had some heroic actions because they also awarded him that Bronze Star during some battle in Vietnam."
Lepanto's mayor said he's not sure Williams is still living, but he would like to find the veteran or his family and return the medals.
"Oh we would love to give it to him, would like to have a ceremony and give it to him and hopefully the family could take it to their kids and for succeeding generations," Mayor Jernigan said.
If you have any information on how to contact Specialist Williams or his family, Mayor Jernigan is asking you to contact him at 1-870-475-2415.
Lepanto is 45 miles northwest of Memphis, Tenn.
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