Gene Stephic came into the possession of a shadow box that was found in an abandoned storage locker in Elkhart, Indiana. The box was found by Gene’s brother, a Veteran. His brother works at VA, so he gave the box to him hoping that he could locate the owner.

Woman looks through father's shadow box

World War II Veteran’s daughter receives her father’s shadow box from VA employees.

Stephic is a Peer Support specialist in the Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Peer Support program at VA Northern Indiana. He enlisted the help of the staff to locate the owner of the shadow box.

The box belonged to a decorated World War II Veteran. It contained a folded flag, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and campaign medals from Germany and Africa. It also contained a Bible and obituaries.

Found Veteran’s daughter on internet

An internet search revealed the Veteran and his son are both deceased. Referencing the names in one of the obituaries, they found that the Veteran’s daughter was living in West Virginia.

Stephic contacted the daughter, who was amazed to hear that her father’s military awards, and other personal items, were found in a storage locker states away. Stephic and two co-workers made arrangements to drive and personally deliver the shadow box.

These VA employees – all Veterans – drove seven hours to ensure the box was safely delivered to the Veteran’s next of kin. This family was reunited with priceless military awards and personal mementos that can now be passed on to future generations.

By Alex Sharpe is a public affairs specialist for the Northern Indiana VA

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Published on Nov. 7, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.3 min.

Views to date: 280

One Comment

  1. Daniel Kibbee November 8, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Excellent job.

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