Plantation teen returns Korean War medal to Daytona Beach family

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A Plantation teen returned a medal he found at the Swap Shop to its rightful owner: a family in Daytona Beach.

Fifteen-year-old Hudson DuCharme collects military gear, and he showed 7News some of his favorite items. “This is an unopened can of bandages from World War II. Unopened,” he said as he held the golden container.

Moments later, he showed a can that had been opened. “See the plaster and the mesh?” he said.

While the 7News crew was still at DuCharme’s Plantation home, the teen received a package in the mail. He opened the cardboard box to reveal a helmet from the Vietnam War era.

“It’s not in the greatest shape, so I’m probably going to leave it how it is,” he said.

DuCharme doesn’t keep all the military items he finds. Sometimes he returns them to their original owners, which is what he did with a 68-year-old Medal of Conduct from the Korean War.

DuCharme finds most of his treasures at the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale, which is where he found the medal. “I noticed, when I picked it up, it had a name on the back,” he said. “That’s what caught my eye about this.”

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The name on the back was Irving S. Brown, with the year 1949 inscribed below it. DuCharme posted photos of the medal on Facebook and got in touch with Vicky Kanger, Brown’s daughter.

Kanger didn’t hesitate to drive down from Daytona Beach to pick it up.

7News captured the moment DuCharme handed over the medal to Kanger. “This was your father’s medal,” said the teen.

“Oh, thank you,” said Kanger as she reached in for a hug.

Brown’s daughter later revealed the medal has deep sentimental value. “It’s actually the only thing I have of my father,” she said.

When asked whether she considers the medal to be a treasure, Kanger replied, “Yes, it is. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have dreamed of [driving] five and a half hours to come get it.”

DuCharme said there was no question in his mind about where the medal belongs. “It’s the right thing to do. That’s all you have to do,” he said, “Do what you’re supposed to do, and do the right things.”

7News interviewed DuCharme back in July 2016 when the City of Plantation asked him to find another place to hang the U.S. flags with which he lines his street. City officials compromised, and he was able to keep the flags hoisted.

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