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Purple Heart marker recovered

Could be back in place for Memorial Day weekend

THE PURPLE HEART monument at the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial and Park before Thursday’s theft. (Submitted photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Michigan State Police have recovered a Purple Heart monument reported stolen Thursday from the Upper Peninsula Veterans Memorial and Park in Breitung Township, but it was damaged.

“You don’t understand how glad we are to have it back,” memorial co-founder Dennis Larson said. “The Purple Heart is given to people killed and wounded, and they are our special veterans.”

Troopers at the Iron Mountain post still had the monument this morning but anticipated returning it to the memorial sometime today. Larson said he hopes to have it reinstalled soon so it will be in place for Memorial Day weekend.

Details on the type or extent of damage to the cement monument were not immediately available.

Larson was at the memorial Thursday afternoon preparing for Memorial Day when he noticed the 2-foot-tall, 80-pound monument was missing. A Kiwanis Ski Club member told him it was last seen Tuesday evening.

Troopers believe the suspect or suspects who stole the monument returned sometime late Thursday and placed it on the side of the road.

A “Good Samaritan” driving on the road spotted the monument and notified authorities, troopers said.

Troopers continue to investigate the matter, and anyone with information is urged to contact the post at 906-774-2122.

The Purple Heart monument was installed at the memorial on Pine Mountain about a year and a half ago, Larson said.

It was donated by Vietnam War veteran Don Trulock of Kingsford, and painted by Kingsford High School art students, he added.

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