It’s something that should be cherished and honored forever, a reminder of the sacrifice that a soldier made for his country. But, seeing the Purple Heart certificate for sale, propped up against other military items at the Plant City Farm & Flea Market made Sandra Ray very sad.
“It broke my heart to think it would be in a flea market,” said Ray recalling the moment she first spotted the Purple Heart certificate on Saturday.
“Purple Heart? Are you kidding me? They don’t belong in a flea market. I almost cried. It just makes me sad to think that someone gave up their life for their country.”
Ray, 63, of Valrico, feels very strongly about honoring those who serve their country. She comes from a military family. Her father and three brothers served in the U.S. Army and U. S. Air Force. As for Ray, she served her community as a Tampa Police officer.
“Public service is what our family is about,” she said.
So, last Saturday at the flea market, Ray plunked down $5 and bought the Purple Heart certificate, with the hope that she’ll find the family of Sgt. George Reed, who died as a result of injuries received in the Korean War and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1954.
Ray then contacted WFLA News Channel 8 asking for help finding Reed’s family.
“There has to be a family,” she said.
“I will gladly give it to them with my heartfelt thanks for the service of their relative. He paid for my freedoms with his life.”
The Purple Heart certificate now sits on Sandra Ray’s coffee table, waiting to be given to the family of Sgt. George Reed.
“I want them to have it. They deserve it,” she said.
If you have information that can help find the family of Sgt. George Reed, please contact WFLA News Channel 8 at the following email:
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