Tennessee unclaimed money department led by State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. returned a purple heart to its rightful owner earlier this year. The purple heart was awarded to Claude Parris for his service in World War II and was one of two medals awarded. Parris fought in Europe and lost part of his leg in the Battle of the Bulge and thus awarded a purple heart. The medal was discovered in an abandoned safety deposit box in a First Volunteer Bank near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mr Parris has since passed away, but his grandson, Freddie Parris, accepted the medal last month in the downtown Chattanooga branch of First Volunteer Bank where the abandoned safe deposit box was discovered.
Freddie Parris accepted the medal on behalf of his brother, Charles Parris, saying “I appreciate the state laws that protect our veterans. Even though they are gone, they should not be forgotten.”
“This is a great day for all of Tennessee,” Senator Gardenhire said, “Because it shows that the system works. That is what my colleagues and I in the General Assembly strive for every day.”
The Senator is referring to legislation that was passed in 2011 protecting all military medals that may go unclaimed and allowing them to becoming unclaimed property which the state mandates be reported and delivered to the Tennessee unclaimed money department.
State Senator Bo Watson added:
“I was proud to vote for the legislation in 2011 to protect these military medals,” said Senator Bo Watson, “and I am honored to be here today as Mr. Parris’ family is reunited with his Purple Heart. I am grateful to see the efforts of our legislation come to its intended fruition in such a meaningful way.”
This is the first military medal returned by the Tennessee Department of Treasury Division of Unclaimed Property since the law went into effect. Five members of the Tennessee General Assembly were part of Friday’s presentation in Chattanooga.
Unclaimed money is also referred to as unclaimed property and unclaimed funds, are personal assets that, for a variety of reasons, have become separated from their owners. Click Here to Search Your State