More than a dozen military service medals are back where they belong after a local man found them next to piles of trash on a west side street last week.
A week of searching has led to this moment.
Marlon Smith found 13 military service medals, including the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, in a tote bag while walking to a store along West Laurel near Zarzamora.
He knew right away how special they were.
“I would like to see that his family has them returned,” said Smith. “So I decided to call you guys.”
On the back of the Purple Heart was the name Albert Robalin Jr.
After searching public records, we were able to help Marlon track down Robalin’s older sister Elizabeth at a northwest side nursing home
Elizabeth last saw the medals in January of last year.
They were hanging in her living room before some squatters broke in and took them.
“Albert Junior worked hard for these,” said Robalin. “This is the second Purple Heart. He had one from the Tet offensive.”
Albert Robalin junior was an infantryman and killed in combat in December of 1971.
He was just 22-years old.
“Can you tell me one thing are you happy to see the medals?” asked Smith.
“Oh definitely,” replied Robalin.
Robalin plans to pass on her baby brother’s medals to relatives in the future.