MANLIUS, N.Y. – Robyn DeCuffa was a toddler when her father was killed in Vietnam, so she was devastated when his Purple Heart medal awarded posthumously disappeared from her Syracuse-area home years ago.
On Tuesday, DeCuffa will be reunited with Army Pfc. Thomas McGraw’s Purple Heart, awarded after his death in an ambush in Vietnam in 1966.
DeCuffa, a mother of eight from Cortland, New York, says her mother gave her the medal when she was 18. Years later, it disappeared from DeCuffa’s home outside Syracuse, where her father grew up.
The medal was found in the early 1990s by a student at a suburban Syracuse elementary school. Earlier this year, his family contacted Vermont-based Purple Hearts United. The group tracked down McGraw’s family and arranged to return the medal to them Tuesday at a golf club in Manlius.