Zachariah Fike has an unusual hobby. The Vermont Army National Guard captain finds old military medals for sale in antique stores and on the Internet. But unlike most memorabilia collectors, Zac doesn’t keep the medals for himself.
Instead, he tracks down the medals’ rightful owners, and returns them.
His effort to reunite families with lost medals all began with a Christmas gift from his mother — a Purple Heart, found in an antique shop and engraved with the name Corrado A.G. Piccoli.
Zac, 31, knows the significance of a Purple Heart — he earned one himself when he was wounded in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2010. So when his mother gave him the medal, he knew right away that he had to find the Piccoli family.
Photo courtesy of Zachariah Fike