The Private Corrado Piccoli
May 24, 2019___ In Washington
D.C., this week, Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) reintroduced House
of Representatives Bill 2911, the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart
The Bill prohibits the sale of any Purple Heart medal presented by the
government to a wounded servicemember or the servicemember’s family. Military
collectors often acquire these Purple Hearts, sometimes through underhanded
means, and resell them as collectable items. These medals sell for hundreds and
even thousands of dollars on the collector market.
The Purple Heart Preservation Act, Bill HR 2911 is named for Private Corrado
Piccoli, a WWII infantryman killed in action in 1944. A Purple Heart medal
accompanied the telegram informing Private Piccoli’s family of his death.
Sadly, years later and after his parents’ passing, the medal was lost. Army
Captain Zachariah Fike discovered the lost medal in 2011 and, after researching
the name engraved on the medal, returned it to Private Piccoli’s surviving
siblings. The experience inspired Captain Fike to found Purple Hearts Reunited,
an organization that has returned over 600 Purple Hearts and rescued more than
1000 since its establishment.
or their survivors pass away, dozens of these Purple Hearts become lost every
year and find their way into pawn shops, secondhand stores, and estate sales.
Service organizations like Purple Hearts Reunited work tirelessly to rescue
these medals and return them to families. The profiteering actions of military
collectors make this task even more difficult as medals find their way onto the
market and away from their rightful places of honor.
Representative Cook, wounded twice in
combat himself, said, “Memorial Day
is a time to recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our
nation and our freedom. The Purple Heart is a symbol of sacrifice and heroism
awarded to those who were killed or wounded in combat. It’s not a collector’s
item. Profiteering from re-sale of the Purple Heart medal has to stop. The fact
that this market exists cheapens the sacrifice of the service members who
earned them. The best way to preserve the honor of our Veterans is to ensure
that the medals end up with whom they belong: the families of those who earned
A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services, Cook served as an
infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine
Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple