Indianapolis couple returns World War II medals to owners after finding them inside dresser from Goodwill

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Update (October 7, 2016): The rightful owners of the medals saw our story, and they’re picking them up today!

The daughter of the WWII veteran says she donated the dresser to Goodwill when her mom moved to Florida, and she didn’t realize the medals were in there.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A couple with strong military ties hopes to get some lost items, including World War II medals, back to their rightful owner.

Clay Terry bought a dresser at the Goodwill near 86th Street and Michigan Road this week.

"It’s just, you know, plain Jane. Just a little nightstand," Terry said.

That was, until this wife, Susan, came home and opened it up. They found a bag in the bottom drawer that contained extremely personal items, including the medals.

"The more I found, the more excited I got and said, 'My gosh, look what we have, these medals belong to somebody,'" Susan Terry said.


World War II medals found inside dresser purchased by Susan and Clay Terry.

The medals were issued by the U.S. Navy during World War II, some from the European, African, Middle Eastern campaign.

"This says American campaign on it, 1941 to 1945," Terry said of one of the medals.

Also inside the bag were social security cards issued to Paul John DiModica and Betty Marie DiModica, an old J.C. Penney insurance card from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a photo, uniform patches, and Moose Lodge items that are marked Freemont, Illinois.

They've left Susan hoping to solve the mystery and learn more than what she's gathered from the clues already.

"Well, he loved his country because he served. I don’t know to what extent he served his country, whether he lived or died, I don’t know what his story is, but I sure hope to find out," Terry said.


Photo found among items inside dresser purchased by Susan and Clay Terry.

The items hit home for the couple, too.

"I really was thinking about my dad because he was in the Navy for 22 years and our son’s a Marine," Susan Terry said.

For that reason, she's even more motivated to find the owners and return the priceless items, particularly the medals.

"I tend to believe that it’s here for a reason. I think God knew I’d get it back to the right person," Terry said.