Louisiana treasury will try to return lost veterans medals

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A dog tag from Master Sgt. Charles Hobert McDaniel, who died in the Korean War in 1950 and was among recently repatriated remains from North Korea, is displayed with his service medals during a ceremony by military officials, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s treasury department will try to locate veterans and their families to return lost military medals.

Don Long pulls out his Purple Heart and other medals at his home Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in Napa, Calif., before driving to attend a number of Pearl Harbor remembrances. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when Japanese war planes started bombing Hawaii on December 7, 1941, he was on the opposite side of Oahu standing watch aboard an anchored military seaplane in Kaneohe Bay. But the wave of bombs and bullets reached his military installation soon after Pearl Harbor was struck, and the young sailor watched from afar as buildings and planes started to explode all around him. On the 77th anniversary of the attack, Long will remember from his home where the 97-year-old survivor will reflect and honor those who died. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The agency already was the custodian of other unclaimed property, such as dollars from old savings accounts, payroll checks, stocks, insurance proceeds, oil royalty payments and utility deposits.

The treasurer’s office tries to locate people and return the money.

World War II veteran Johnnie Jones, Sr. poses for a portrait holding his Croix Guerre medal at his home in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Jones, who joined the military in 1943 out of Southern University in Baton Rouge, was a warrant officer in a unit responsible for unloading equipment and supplies onto Normandy. He remembers wading ashore, and one incident when he and his fellow soldiers came under fire from a German sniper. He grabbed his weapon and returned fire along with the other soldiers. It’s something that still haunts his memories. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Under a new law that took effect this month, military medals will be added to the list.

Medals and documents held in safe deposit boxes or other depositories — and unclaimed for more than five years after the lease period expires — will be turned over to the treasury’s unclaimed property division.

The legislation, sponsored by Abbeville Sen. Bob Hensgens, passed unanimously earlier this year. Treasurer John Schroder applauded its enactment.

A row of medals, including four Purple Hearts and three Silver Stars, are worn by D-Day survivor Ray Lambert during a reception at the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on Thursday, June 6, 2019. The North Carolina man was had already received three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars in North Africa and Sicily before making the landing on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

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