Chicago family reunited with late father's Purple Heart

A Chicago family is celebrating Independence Day week by being reunited with their late father's Purple Heart.

Jerome "Jerry" Even survived the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. His Purple Heart had been abandoned in a bank safe deposit box and was turned over to the state's Unclaimed Property Division. On Monday, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs returned the medal as part of a mission called Operation Purple Heart.

Jerome's son accepted the medal in honor of his late father, who was part of the Greatest Generation.

"From time to time, Purple Hearts and other military medals will be turned over to our office as part of our Unclaimed Property Division. These are valuables that were sitting in a bank safe deposit box because someone was afraid that they might be stolen, or they might go up in a house fire. They wanted to protect them. We protect them as well until we can get them back into the rightful hands of family members," said Frerichs.

Even passed away in 2014 at the age of 92. This is the 11th medal returned under the Operation Purple Heart program. Treasurer Frerichs says 10 more Purple Heart medals are waiting to be returned to their rightful owners.