Family receives Purple Heart Medal after decades - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Family receives Purple Heart Medal after decades

Posted: Updated:
CULLMAN COUNTY - AL -

Willie Freeman Butts goes back down memory lane, but this story isn't about Willie, it's about Alabama native, Toulman Freeman. Willie says Toulman passed away in 1944; he died in Europe in World War II. On Saturday, Willie Freeman received her brother's Purple Heart Medal.

Jacqueline Carter with Robertsdale Healthcare Center says, "It's heart touching, it's a love story." She says a staff member at the nursing home found the damaged Purple Heart Medal in an old dryer machine. Carter says, "She did not know who the owner of the heart was and it kind of stayed on the shelf for several years."

Freeman's last name was engraved on the medal, his wife Estelle Freeman got remarried and changed her last name to Estelle Clayton, leaving it hard for people to find out who this medal belonged to.

Carter says, "We actually started doing a little bit more research in our files and found that  her middle name was freeman at that point in time, so she had remarried a Clayton and she actually kept the heart all those years and they were actually with her when she passed away."

Members of the family say Toulman and Estelle grew up together, fell in love and got married, but unfortunately he was sent off to war, and he didn't make it home. Even though she got remarried, she kept the Purple Heart with her, probably in her pocket, and that might have been how it ended up in the dryer.

Staff members at the nursing home got in contact with the military order of Purple Heart.

Zacharih Fike is a Captain National Guard in Vermont he says, "Through my research, I was able to locate misses butts here in Alabama."

And as Willie continues to reminisce of the love she had with her younger brother. This medal is a new memory this 91 year old will never forget. Toulman Freeman's body was buried at Bethany Baptist Church in Cullman County, the same church where the ceremony was held today.

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:41:00 GMT
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:32:26 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
  • Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:02 GMT
     The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com) The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:00 GMT
    The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
  • NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:45:18 GMT
    The National Weather Service Birmingham office is offering weather-related alternatives after a recent transmitter outage. The service's tower, which sits atop Red Mountain, failed over the weekend. NWSMore >>
    UpdateMore >>
  • Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:16:07 GMT
    THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY PATROL HAS ISSUED AN AMBER ALERT FOR 2-YEAR-OLD MALIAH HARRIS, WHO WAS ABDUCTED THIS MORNING FROM CALEDONIA, MISSISSIPPI.More >>
    The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an amber alert for 2-year-old Maliah Harris, who was allegedly abducted Wednesday morning from Caledonia, Mississippi. More >>
  • Man charged with murder in nursing home deaths

    Man charged with murder in nursing home deaths

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:31 GMT
    A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death is facing a capital murder charge, police said Wednesday.More >>
    A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death is facing a capital murder charge, police said Wednesday.More >>
  • Alabama schools Superintendent Tommy Bice discusses meeting with Hoover school leaders over bus fees

    Alabama schools Superintendent Tommy Bice discusses meeting with Hoover school leaders over bus fees

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:35 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:35:04 GMT
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy BIce said he had a "productive meeting" with Hoover City School Superintendent Andy Craig (pictured) on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (abc3340.com)Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy BIce said he had a "productive meeting" with Hoover City School Superintendent Andy Craig (pictured) on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice met with Hoover City School leaders Wednesday, and he released a statement afterwards clarifying his position on the school system following its recent approval of school bus fees.More >>
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice met with Hoover City School leaders Wednesday, and he released a statement afterwards clarifying his position on the school system following its recent approval of school bus fees.More >>