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90-year-old veteran to reclaim Purple Heart earned in WWII

A North Carolina man who mailed his Purple Heart home from France almost 70 years ago is getting it back in a ceremony in Rutherfordton.

Ninety-year-old George Hemphill will reclaim the Purple Heart he earned during World War II in France at a ceremony Sunday. He mailed it home and assumed it was in a box of his medals that he didn't open.

A Florida man bought it in an antiques store in Columbia, S.C., in 2000 and held on to it. His friend found Purple Hearts Reunited, a Vermont organization run by Capt. Zachariah Fike. Fike tracked down Hemphill, who also will get a Bronze Star in Sunday's ceremony.

Hemphill says he's flabbergasted that so many people worked to reunite him with his Purple Heart.

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