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NY WWII vet's lost medals returned to his family

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 6:40pm  ET

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (AP) -- A Purple Heart medal and other military decorations awarded to a World War II veteran have been returned to his daughter after the items were found in an old desk drawer in a county office building in western New York.

Rita Dudczak (DUHD'-chehk) of Lackawanna tells local media outlets that she didn't even know her father's seven medals existed and has no idea how they wound up in a desk in Erie County's Rath Office Building in downtown Buffalo.

On Monday, county officials returned her father's medals, which Vincent Mikolajczyk (MIHK'-lye-chehk) earned while serving in an Army combat unit in the Philippines.

The retired autoworker died in 1983 at age 65.

His medals were found during the cleaning of unused office space in the county building. How they got there remains a mystery.


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