Found Military Medals Presented To Rightful Owner
Allen Staples Receives Medals That Were Given To His Father, Brother For Military Service
Last Updated: 300 days ago
Two local women who discovered framed military medals sitting in an antique shop presented those medals to the rightful owner on Wednesday.
Allen Staples received his father's and brother's medals with gratitude and tears.
"My brother gave his life and my dad, you know the story of my dad," Staples said.
Staples' father, Navy signalman Elgin Staples, was blown into the water when his ship was hit by Japanese forces in 1942. An inflatable lifebelt saved his life.
While on leave back home in Akron, Ohio, Elgin Staples' mother told him she had taken a wartime job at the Firestone plant. Staples showed her the label and number on his lifebelt, which had been made at her plant.
"Son, I'm an inspector at Firestone. This is my inspector number," Staples' mother told him.
Thanks to Chula Vista realtors Linda Ring and Terri Davids, the Staples family story continues. The women made it their mission to put the framed medals, including two Purple Hearts, where they belong. The women stumbled upon them about six months ago at a Solana Beach antique shop.
"Linda and I do a lot of work for our military and it's just an absolute pleasure to be able to do this," said Davids.
"Our goal was always to protect them and guard them and get them back to the hands of the man that's going to cherish and honor them," said Ring.
The women had trouble tracking down Allen Staples until they met Paul Curtis, a retired Navy sailor and former private investigator. Curtis noticed the medals on display at Ring and Davids' booth at the San Diego County Fair, heard their story and decided to help.
"It's my hope that somebody else seeing this and finding medals in an antique shop or a thrift shop or whatever would do the same thing," said Curtis.
With bagpipes playing, Allen Staples' brother, who died in Vietnam, and his father, who died in 2009 at a local hospice, were remembered.
"He fought for our country, he fought so that we could all, him and my brother, so we could all live better lives," said Staples, who was flown in from Northern California by Ring and Davids.
Staples said he will display the medals and, because he has no children, will eventually donate them to a military museum.