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Nebraska Treasurer hopes to return military medals to owners

(Nebraska Treasurer's Office)

The Nebraska Treasurer's Office is currently holding six military medals that were found in safe deposit boxes turned over to the state.

“Every year, our Unclaimed Property Division receives the contents of more than 200 safe deposit boxes from Nebraska banks. The contents often include jewelry, watches, savings bonds, and personal documents, as well as medals earned in school, at work, from fraternal organizations, and occasionally in military service,” Nebraska State Treasurer Stenberg said.

To date, the Treasurer’s Office is holding six military medals from four safe deposit boxes turned over to the state, Stenberg said. The medals, the names of the owners listed on the safe deposit boxes, and the years the Treasurer’s Office received the medals include the following:

  • Mary Turner and Patsy Turner, Lincoln, U.S. Navy Fidelity, Zeal, Obedience, 2016.
  • Marijane Austin, Plattsmouth, U.S. Armed Forces Expeditionary Service and National Defense, 2011.
  • Adrian Perry and Andre Perry, Bellevue, two medals for Military Merit, 2011.
  • No owner listed, Rifle and Grenade, 1991.

“We would very much like to find the rightful owners of these medals and return them to their owners or their families,” Stenberg said. “These medals are tangible reminders of the sacrifices made throughout our history by our brave men and women in the service of our country. In particular during this Fourth of July holiday, we offer our gratitude.”

Military medals turned over to the Treasurer’s Office are held for at least 10 years in the name of the safe deposit box owner. After 10 years, if the owner has not been located, the Treasurer’s Office may give the medal to a designated custodian for safekeeping, Stenberg said. The Treasurer’s policy, however, is to retain possession of all military medals until they are claimed by the owner or the owner’s family.

Stenberg said a law passed by the Legislature in 2012 requires that any military medal removed from a safe deposit box or any other safekeeping repository – when the lease has expired because of failure to pay rent – be retained by the bank and eventually turned over to the State Treasurer after the required dormancy period.

After 10 years, the Treasurer then may turn over the medal for safekeeping to a veteran’s organization, a government entity, or the organization that awarded the medal. The Treasurer’s Office holds all military medals in the names of the owners of the safe deposit boxes and does not include military medals in its online auction of safe deposit boxes. The office’s last auction was last October.

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