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Lost Purple Heart medal returned to WWII veteran's family

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Surviving members of TSGT Holden's family after receiving the Purple Heart on Wednesday. Surviving members of TSGT Holden's family after receiving the Purple Heart on Wednesday.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) -

CPT Zachariah Fike of Purple Hearts Reunited and members of South Carolina Chapter 0354 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart held a joint ceremony on Wednesday to return a lost Purple Heart medal to the family of Technical Sergeant Odell Holden, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWII.

The ceremony took place at the Sand Dunes Resort and Spa Hotel, located at 74th Avenue North Myrtle Beach Wednesday.

TSGT Holden was born September 27, 1920 in Horry County.

He enlisted as an Infantryman in the U.S. Army and served with Alpha Company, 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division in 1944. His unit entered Lesneven, France that same year; unfortunately, he paid the ultimate sacrifice ten as they entered Plouvien, France.

He currently rests in the Sandy Plain Cemetery in Galivants Ferry.

For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge.

TSGT Holden was from Horry County, SC, the son of Jesse and Minta Holden.

He grew up with five sisters, Ester, Evelyn, Leona, Daisy, and Coreatha.

He also had two brothers, James and Jessie. Unfortunately, they are all passed. His Purple Heart was presented to his sister Evelyn's children, niece Lois Weatherford and nephew Buddy Richardson of Myrtle Beach, SC.

TSGT Holden's Purple Heart was discovered in early December of this year by a Mr. Shane Grey while remodeling an old home at Dale Acres in Conway, which is located on Route 501.

Purple Hearts Reunited is a Non-Profit Foundation, which locates lost or stolen Military Medals and returns them to Veterans or their families in order to honor their sacrifice to the nation.

PHR donates a considerable amount of their personal time and finances to researching and locating the original recipient or family in order to conduct a "Return Ceremony" to reunite the veteran or family with the medal.

To date, they have conducted over 60 returns and are currently working on over 100 medals that need a home.

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