A Purple Heart has finally found its way home after mistakenly surfacing January in a box of donations at a Salvation Army Store in New York. The medal was found with a certificate and photo of a young soldier, and figuring the valuable honor was not intended to be given away, Salvation Army staff had few clues to direct them to the rightful owner.
The certificate described the award of Sgt. Richard E. Owen “for military wounds received in action resulting in his death on June 6, 1944,” but no one knew who dropped off the donation, if Sgt. Owen was even from the New York area, or the names of his living family members. However, after thorough research, Salvation Army Captain Ronald Heimbrock discovered Sgt. Owen was from the “Easy” Company Paratroopers, 101st Airborne Division, whose mission in Europe during WWII inspired the popular HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”
Capt. Heimbrock contacted the local newspaper to run a story in hopes of finding someone with a connection, which was then picked up by AP who distributed stories across the country. Soon, the American Legion reached out to Capt. Heimbrock to assist in the search by posting information on their blog. (Click here to read a story discussing the myterious details surrounding the Purple Heart and Capt. Heimbrock’s efforts.)
When the Winchester Virginia newspaper wrote an article on the matter, the reporter was approached by a woman named Ellen Marshall, the great niece of Richard Owen, with a photo album containing pictures of her great uncle. She explained that she and her sister Susanne Marshall helped take care of the estate of Sgt. Owen’s widow, their great aunt Ruth McCann, after she passed in 2002, which is how they came into care of the Purple Heart and mistakenly gave it away amidst of a box of other items.
With the mystery finally solved, a ceremony honoring Sgt. Owen was held on Armed Forces Day in James Island, SC, during which Susanne Marshall was presented with her great uncle’s Purple Heart and certificate. Many shared in the joy of knowing Sgt. Owen’s family was reunited with the important symbol of the man’s sacrifice to his country. Salvation Army Capt. Ronald Heimbrock was present, along with Mark Seavey of the American Legion.
Click here to read the American Legion’s story of this very special event and highly anticipated reunion.
It’s about that time of year when college students move out of their dorm rooms and head back home for the summer, but sometimes, all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over the past year doesn’t take the road trip with them, whether it be for lack of want, space, or another reason.
Instead of ditching or throwing away perfectly good items, from clothes to books to appliances, students have an opportunity to give them new second-hand life with the help of The Salvation Army.
At Skidmore College in New York, the school has partnered with The Salvation Army for their annual “Give and Go” event. Student volunteers collect the usable items left behind in the dorms and donate them to the Army, where they will be sold in our Family Thrift Stores or given to other local charities who can put them to good use. Read the full story about this conservation effort at Skidmore College’s website by clicking here.
According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, several other colleges in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are participating in similar efforts, with Salvation Army trucks swinging by the campuses following the student exodus. Between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of goods and food are salvaged at each location, diverting the items from the landfill and into the hands of people in need. Find the full article here.
For all you National Doughnut Day celebrators, we have a special treat for you! As promised, we’re posting the original Salvation Army doughnut recipe, just like our “doughnut girls” used to make them on the front lines for American soldiers during WW1.
Try them out and let us know what you think!
SALVATION ARMY DOUGHNUTS
5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
1 3/4 C milk
1 T lard
Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts slowly. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Let cool and enjoy! This recipe yields approximately 4 dozen doughnuts, so invite some friends to help eat!
The Salvation Army is celebrating the 72nd annual National Doughnut Day today!
We have a variety of events taking place across the country, including free doughnut giveaways – yum!
Why do we make such a big deal about doughnuts? The Salvation Army is widely credited with popularizing the doughnut in the United States by feeding American soldiers the tasty treat during World War I. For more background on our past with the pastry, click here.
We’re celebrating National Doughnut Day in partnership with doughnut vendors and shops nationwide, and we’ve listed below just a few of these many partner events taking place across the country today and Saturday. We hope you can make it out to the exciting celebrations in your local area. You won’t want to miss out on the festivities!
* Chicago, IL: Donors can help The Salvation Army “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” on June 4th and 5th, 2010. Fundraisers will be on the streets handing out commemorative Doughnut Day tags to donors to help support feeding programs for children, seniors, the homeless and families in need. Local celebrities will be participating in events and providing entertainment at the James R. Thompson Center on June 4th from 11 AM – 1PM.
* Cincinnati, OH: The Salvation Army in Greater Cincinnati will host games and other activities, in addition to providing free doughnuts and drinks on June 4. The event is in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers Association and Bakemark, an international supplier of baking supplies to independent doughnut shops,
* Los Angeles, CA: BakeMark will make a $10,000 donation to renovate The Salvation Army’s Haven Shelter in West Los Angeles. The Salvation Army will also be providing free doughnuts and coffee to veterans and their families from across Southern California from 7:00 to 8:30 AM on June 4.
* Vero Beach, FL: The Salvation Army will be handing out free doughnuts from a mobile canteen at the new Dough Boy’s Donuts and Bagels in Vero Beach from 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM.