Long Islanders reunite Purple Heart of WWII veteran from Patchogue to daughter in Seattle
Total strangers reunited the family of a World War II veteran from Patchogue with something special from 75 years ago.
Lisa Dabrowski, of Cutchogue, saw a box on a table at a local yard sale. Inside, she recognized a Purple Heart medal that had a partial name on it.
"I knew what it was, I knew what it was right away," Dabrowski says.
The partial name on the medal was R.S. Hallaman.
The family selling the medal at the yard sale agreed to donate it to the Mattituck American Legion.
They then brought it to Kristen Asher, owner of a Jamesport art store. She framed the medal then started searching ancestry records and ultimately tracked down the recipient's family.
Lynn Bryson is the daughter of Robert Stuart Hollaman, who died in 2010. She lives in Seattle and received a phone call that her father's Purple Heart medal had been found.
Bryson says her father never spoke about the way and didn't even know he had a purple heart. She said all she knew was that her father served in the Army and suffered serious shrapnel wounds.
"My grandmother was getting reports every 12 hours that he was still alive," Bryson says.
Those who solved the mystery are proud that the medal is back where it belongs.
"All of the people who have put in so much effort for this to happen, I have such gratitude for the love that they have for the military people who serve and the families that receive the benefits," Bryson says.
The American Legion is flying Lynn Bryson and her husband in from Seattle this weekend where she'll be presented with her father's Purple Heart.