National Purple Heart Day profile: Calvin C. Winright

Family Receives Great Uncle's Purple Heart Decades After His Death.

As the nation celebrates military heroes on National Purple Heart Day, AOL takes a look at some of the most compelling, heart-wrenching and heartwarming stories behind those who have earned the prestigious award.

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. -- Calvin C. Winright was only one year from finishing his tour of duty during World War II when he was shot down by enemy fire in a B-17 over Germany.

Generations later in Excelsior Springs, no one in his family knew he died a war hero.

The military gave Winright's Purple Heart medal to his brother. When his brother died, the medal was put into a box and given away.

Purple Heart Recipient: Calvin Winwright
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National Purple Heart Day profile: Calvin C. Winright
(Photo: 41 Action News)
(Photo: 41 Action News)
(Photo: 41 Action News)
(Photo: 41 Action News)
(Photo: 41 Action News)

Two years ago, an antique tinkerer came across the medal in the bottom of box and was determined to return it to its rightful owner.

In an official ceremony, the high honor medal was returned to the Winright family.

Read more awe-inspiring stories about heroes who have earned a Purple Heart award:

Meet Annie Fox: The first woman to ever be awarded a Purple Heart

Charles Elder was shocked to receive the honor 65 years after he served in the Korean war

Henry Johnson​ was a fiercely brave member of the famed WWII Harlem Hellfighters

Kristin Beck overcame immeasurable challenges on the battlefield and then at home

Chris Melendez joined the military after the 9/11 attacks and now he's making history

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