Zac Fike - Purple Hearts Reunited

 
Zac Fike started and operates Purple Hearts Reunited. It is a nonprofit organization that rescues and returns purple hearts and other medals of honor to their rightful owners. Zac explained to us how disgusting it is that purple hearts are traded online like baseball cards for $100s or $1,000s each.  He spends almost all of his personal time purchasing these online and returning them to families. To date he has returned 150 medals but has close to 400 in his basement that need to find their owners. Not to mention he is spending close to $30K a year buying them online and receives 4-5 medals a week in the mail. He has had dogs dig them up, scuba divers find them, and even people who are metal detector enthusiasts. This passion started when he returned from his first tour of duty. He found that collecting military antiques soothed him after what he witnessed at war. His mother, the first female Drill Sargent,  gave him a Purple Heart she found at a shop. He knew right away he had to return it. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so before being deployed for a second time. It was during this deployment that he received his own purple heart. That stoked the fire even more and Purple Hearts Reunited was born. When asked what the biggest challenge he faced was he without hesitation said funding. He estimates that he would need $60K a year to rescue all the medals that come to market and would need at least that much more to return them. It costs $1,500 to return each medal. The return includes him personally flying the medals in a frame to the family and hosting a ceremony. He has even slept in his car to save money. Zac loses sleep every night when he thinks about the fact that he knows he can return all the medals but that he just doesn’t have the time or money to do it. So how can we help?