N.Y. boys’ sleuthing leads to return of Cherokee veteran’s medals

More than 50 years after Cherokee veteran Charles George died in the Korean War, military medals belonging to the private first class were finally welcomed home Monday — and along with them, the two young boys responsible for their return.

In April, Michael Mazzariello, 11, and his brother Mario, 8, entered a pawn shop in Newburgh, N.Y., with their father in search of old G.I. Joe action figures but instead found a box of military medals that piqued their interest. Sifting through the bunch, the boys found a Bronze Star, a Good Conduct Medal and a Purple Heart — all three with the name Charles J. George inscribed on the back.

“I thought it was wrong that they were in a shop,” Michael said. “They are one of our nation’s highest honors.”

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