NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Couple from Oregon reunites family with late father’s stolen Purple Heart

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-27 17:33:59-04

Portland, OR (KPTV) — A Korean war veteran’s Purple Heart was found by an Oregon family and reunited with the hero’s daughter on Saturday.

A family in Utah have been looking for their father’s medal collection for months after it was stolen from their mother’s home.

Well, the purple heart turned up here in Oregon and luckily one of the veteran’s daughters lives here.

By complete accident, Jeff Drury came across the piece of history.

“I ended up finding the Purple Heart sitting on the dinette table,” Drury said.

A decades-old Purple Heart turned up in an old RV given to him after he and his expecting wife, Keri, fell on some hard times.

They’ve been homeless on and off for five years.

“Helping ourselves wasn’t the goal ever. We were only, at the time, trying to reach out to the family to try and get him home. That was all that mattered to us,” Drury said.

Hours after Drury posted on Facebook, he found the rightful owners, a family from Utah.

“Their immediate question was does there happen to be an urn with it and a flag?” Drury said.

Derral Tarrance, a Korean War veteran, who had also been homeless at a point in life died in 2011.

“And the American flag you see here was stolen a few months ago, along with his urn, and his Purple Heart?” Drury said.

Frederick is the only family who lives here in Oregon and was here to accept a piece of her father.

“I appreciate it,” Vivian Frederick the daughter of Derral Tarrance said. “I appreciate it very much and it really means a lot to our family and we have a very large family and there’s a lot of people this will make a really big difference to.”

The reunion for Frederick felt even more meaningful.

“It seems kind of serendipitous. My dad was kind of on the brink himself had been on the streets when my mom had met him,” Frederick said.

Keri Drury, who decided to name her expecting baby boy in August after Derral, also felt the meaningful connection.

“It’s a hero’s daughter, you know, it’s the fact that I’ve lost a dad but she didn’t deserve to lose her dad twice so the fact that we can return him home and return her father back to him again. It warms my heart,” Keri Drury said.

Keri and her husband Jeff have a GoFundMe set up as they’re still working to get back on their feet.