By Scott Faughn
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 702 Wednesday sponsored by Rep. Vicki Englund, D-St. Louis County, which would allow the State Treasurer to help return military medals to their original owners.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel said he currently holds 96 military medals in the State’s unclaimed property vault. During an interview, Zwiefel said he was thankful for the House’s work on the issue.
“When I came into office, military medals were being sold at auction like any other piece of property,” Zweifel said. “I immediately put a stop to that and I worked with the legislature to ensure no future Treasurer could sell them. It is my responsibility to protect and return these medals to the brave men and women who earned them. To date, I have returned 32 military medals to veterans and their families. HB702 will help me return even more.”
Englund said she was pleased that the passage of the bill was unanimous.
“I am excited today that we will be able to give back to veterans who have heroically served our country,” Englund said. “Returning lost military medals to their rightful owners and heirs is the least we can do to again say ‘thank you.’”
Zweifel worked with Rep. David Day and Representative Englund and the legislature to pass the Veterans’ Medal Bill during 2010, which allowed him to appoint a custodian to care for the medals until their owners can be found.
The legislation passed by the House this year goes further by allowing the Treasurer to share information about the medals, such as photographs and the names of the individuals who earned them, with veterans’ organizations and the general public online at ShowMeMoney.com.