Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced the return of military decorations to 11 different veterans and families of veterans.
“Each and every military decoration that finds its way to Treasury’s vault is a piece of someone’s story and a symbol of the selfless sacrifice made by them and their family for all of us. It’s a true honor to return these decorations and to let my fellow veterans and their families know how much we respect and appreciate their service to our country.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
The 72 decorations, including medals, pins, patches and military identification tags (dog tags), were sent to Treasury as unclaimed property as contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes. After diligent and sometimes painstaking research to locate the correct owners, the pieces will now be back in the right hands.
Treasury’s initiative to return military decorations is part of its unclaimed property program. Military decorations are stored in the department’s vault along with other tangible items such as jewelry, collectibles and other family keepsakes often forgotten about in safe deposit boxes. While most tangible property may be auctioned after a certain time period — leaving the proceeds of any auction to be claimed by the rightful owner in perpetuity — military decorations are never auctioned.
Since Treasury started the initiative in 2018, 370 military decorations have been returned.
Garrity called on her fellow Pennsylvanians to help locate the rightful owners. “I’m focused on the mission of finding the veterans and their families who should have these military decorations – and you can help,” Garrity said. “I urge any Pennsylvanian with a connection to military service to search our dedicated unclaimed property database. It only takes a minute or two to search at patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/medals to see if you or a loved one has military decorations waiting in Treasury’s vault.”
Along with the 659 military decorations currently in the vault, Treasury has nearly $4 billion in unclaimed property waiting to be reunited with the rightful owners. The unclaimed property belongs to approximately one in ten Pennsylvanians, and includes things such as dormant bank accounts, stocks, and uncashed checks due to individuals, businesses, government entities, non-profit organizations and more. The average value of a claim is about $2,000. Something as simple as a misspelled name or out-of-date address can lead to property being sent to Treasury.
Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property can assist with claims free of charge. Anyone looking for more information regarding their claim or potential claim can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Anyone can search the dedicated military decoration database or unclaimed property database by visiting https://www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/.