Family of fallen Illinois Army soldier finally receives his Purple Heart

The family of an American hero is back in possession of a priceless reminder of his sacrifice.

The Illinois Treasurer's Office returned a Purple Heart to the family of Army Specialist Kenneth Wiest.

Wiest was from downstate O’Fallon. He earned the Purple Heart in Vietnam.

He also served during the Gulf War.


Wiest died in 1998 and the Purple Heart was left in a bank safe deposit.

A friend of the family reached out to the treasurer's office, making the emotional return possible.

"What I do know is he would be so proud that he had us here to accept it in his honor," said Sarah Wiest, daughter.

The treasurer's office still has around ten Purple Heart medals it is trying to return to families.