A Bakersfield woman is on a mission to reunite a Purple Heart medal with the family of a late World War II veteran who passed away more than 50 years ago.
Clarence Vernie Hawksley served as a U.S. Army captain from 1942-1946, but decades later the Purple Heart Medal awarded to him during his service is not in his family’s possession. Karen Galyan is doing all she can to change that.
“It needs to go home,” she said of the purple heart, a United States military medal awarded to men and women wounded or killed in service.
Someone found the medal in Bakersfield in early February and turned it in to the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery. Galyan immediately took the lead to get the medal back to Hawksley’s living relatives.
Galyan found documents showing that Hawksley died in 1963 and is buried in Mono County. She also found contact information for someone with the Hawksley last name and reached out, but has not yet heard back.