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Police department is determined to reunite this WWI medal with its owner's family

Image source: TheBlaze

A New Jersey police department is on a mission to return a World War I medal to the family of its rightful owner.

What are the details?

The Wanaque Police Department came into possession of the medal when a local resident reportedly  discovered it while in the woods with a metal detector.

Wanaque Police Capt. Kenneth Fackina shared a photo of the medal on the department's Facebook page with the caption, "Want to help us out with what we think is our most important #TBT ever?"

"One of our residents found this WWI medal with a metal detector and turned it in to us," the posting explained. "Chief Kronyak cleaned it up and we were able to read the name on the back. It is a World War medal presented from the people of the Borough of Wanaque to Dan Battaglia. After some research we found a Daniel Battaglia who lived at 750 Ringwood Avenue in 1942. He was born in Black Diamond, Washington on May 5, 1890. Some of our Veterans believe he was a bachelor and never had kids."

The post continued, "Here's where you all come in. We are hoping to find a family member to return this medal to. If you know of someone who can help, please have them reach out to Capt. Ken Fackina at kfackina@wanaqueborough.com or private message us. As always, thank you!"

An inscription on the medal reads, "Presented to Dan Battaglia by the people of Wanaque Borough, N.J. in grateful recognition of patriotic service in the World War."

Visible dates on the medal — which, according to Fackina was "caked in dirt and gunk" before it was cleaned — include 1917 and 1918.

How is the search going?

"We've heard from a bunch of Battaglias, but all have said there's no relation," Fackina said, according to NJ.com. "It's more difficult because it's such a common name."

"It’s something that needs to be with a family member," he said, according to WCBS-TV. "It doesn’t belong in a case here in our building."

Fackina added that "it's the family that deserves to have it."

"Dan is the one who fought in the war," he said. "It may be a distant family member, but it’s going to be in a family member’s hand soon. There's going to be a lot of joy, that I’ll know at that point it’s home. That’s really where it needs to be."

One last thing…
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