Often these medals that we find, when I return them, are a missing piece in that family's history
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new law will allow Missouri to release more information about dozens of unclaimed military medals, in an attempt to reunite the honors with their owners or their families.
The medals are from safety deposit boxes handed over after a variety of circumstances.
"I refueled airplanes in midair," says Jim Handley. "I was in the United States Air Force for ten years."
Handley served during Korea and Vietnam. Now, he helps lay veterans to rest with the Veterans' Memorial Team.
Handley earned his medals and his wings.
"When you get one, it makes you feel like the government appreciates what you're doing," Handley says. "My mother would never let [anything] happen to my Dad's medals. He was in W.W.II and she kept them until the day she died. And she made my oldest brother promise not to ever get rid of them."
The website that keeps a database of unclaimed funds will soon include medals as well.
"This bill specifically allows us to share information to help return those 90 medals back to those individuals," says Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, a democrat.
Zweifel says before he came into office, the state would auction off the medals with unclaimed property. That stopped.
Now, he can release information about the medals and pictures. Doing so wasn't allowed before.
"Often these medals that we find, when I return them, are a missing piece in that family's history that they've been able to get reconnected with," Zweifel says.