How did these top military medals end up at Goodwill?

Do these look familiar to anyone?

A post on Reddit says they were found in a Goodwill store, and now the social media site is doing what it does best: solving mysteries.

There’s a Purple Heart there, a Bronze Star, medals from World War II and Korea, the Silver Star (the third-highest military honor for valor). And that’s the “Big Red One” patch from the 1st Infantry, part of Gen. George Patton’s forces in Italy and North Africa.

One participant in the Reddit search has located a list of people in the 1st who were awarded the Silver Star. There weren’t many.

Caballero, Antonio V. HQ, 1st Infantry Division
Haag, Charles M. HQ, 1st Infantry Division
Tabler, Irvin C. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 60 (1944)
Ubarevicius, Vytautas A. HQ, 1st Infantry Division
MacConchie, Howard P. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 3 (1943)
Yagi, Tom HQ, U.S. Army Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, G.O. No.
Sabol, Joseph S. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 17 (1945)
Paajanen, William H. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 150 (1945) .
La Bue, Anthony C. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 90 (1945)

Another cross-referenced with people who were awarded the Bronze Star also in WWII, and that narrowed the list:

Caballero, Antonio V. HQ, 1st Infantry Division
MacConchie, Howard P. HQ, 1st Infantry Division, G.O. No. 3 (1943)

And Reddit figures that it’s probably Caballero, since he was a 1st lieutenant and probably ended up making captain, as indicated by one of the decorations.

The Redditors have located an address for family members and are still attempting to find out how the medals ended up at Goodwill.

(h/t: Michael Wells)

  • MrE85

    Once the generational ties are cut, these are just bits of metal and cloth to some. I don’t have medals and citations like those, but I have a few hanging on my uniform in the basement. We have no children, and no relatives in the area. I won’t be surprised if my uniform, ribbons and medals end up at Goodwill, too. I hope they make a nice Halloween costume for a kid who never heard of a war in his life.

  • Al

    …hope it wasn’t his family that gave them to the Goodwill. That’d be awkward.

  • BReynolds33

    Not only one Purple Heart, but it looks like there are two oak leaf clusters, signifying the soldier actually was awarded the Purple Heart three times.

  • Robert Soffers

    I see this happen all the time. The local Thrift Shop actually auctions off this sort of memorabilia to the highest bidder. Silver Star and Purple Hearts, wow a book or a movie needs to be made here. Sad that there is no family member who can appreciate this. I have WWI and WWII medals from my past relatives, and I cherish them, but I wonder if I will have anyone to pass them on to, and add my own.