Lexington, South Carolina- July 31, 2015 On Saturday, August 1st at 1pm at 220 W. Main Street in Lexington, South Carolina, Britnee Kinard, President of the SD Gunner Fund, will present a man named Michael with his father’s Purple Heart medal from World War II as well as little yellow box full of love notes between his mother and the father he never met.
This surprising presentation after more than 60 years is thanks to the dedication of people at the SD Gunner Fund, a non-profit organization that was created to assist Veterans and disabled children with the financial expense of owning much needed service animals. This story began earlier this year when Lara Mauer and Stephanie Smith, owners of Lawn and Order Landscaping in Claxton, Georgia were clearing out an abandoned home in Claxton and found a box that held all of the letters, a Purple Heart medal and a marriage license. The two immediately gave the box to Britnee Kinard, who with her team member LeeAnna Tatum tracked down the granddaughter of Michael who gave his life for his country.
Early in the war, Charles and Elizabeth (last name is confidential at this time) were married and Charles was deployed overseas early in the war leaving Elizabeth alone. The love letters between the two revealed a very deep love for each other, eager anticipation of his coming home ceremony and the announcement of a pregnancy. Unfortunately Charles was killed and was never able to meet his son, Michael.
Kinard said, “To be a part of something so special and intimate for the families of our veterans is what we do on a daily basis, but this story is a little different. When I heard about the lost items that would mean so much to someone’s family I was immediately intrigued and happily began this journey to locate the family. I’m very excited to see Michael’s face and possibly help answer some questions that he may have had about his family and the father that he never knew.”
For more information on SD Gunner Fund please visit www.sdgunnerfund.com.