LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Waste Management Recycle America in Liverpool is looking for the rightful owner of a Bronze Star it found at its facility recently.
The bronze star is one of the highest honors a service member can receive for heroism in combat.
“I would want that for my family members if we lost something valuable like that,” says Seth Stephens, plant manager for Waste Management Recycle America in Liverpool.
The one found at the recycling facility had no name, was missing its ribbon, and was found in a black container.
The container had “Property of 709th MPBN 51 Section Bronze” handwritten on it and had the star symbol.
“We’re thinking that maybe people were cleaning out, garage or something like that and it accidentally got thrown in the bin,” Stephens tells NewsChannel 9.
Almost anything that goes into a blue bin in Onondaga and surrounding counties goes to the Liverpool facility.
While it’s not uncommon to find things that don’t belong, Stephens says rarely do they find anything like a Bronze Star.
He adds, “The odds of seeing that and being able to recover it is very slim.”
The materials go through both manual sorting and automatic sorting, which includes a machine with large metal teeth that crush most things that run past it.
Unbelievably, the Bronze Star made it through and was found by one of the workers who manually sort out things from the line that can’t be recycled.
The 709th Military Police, based in Germany, was formed during World War II and deployed to Omaha Beach.
They tell Stephens only twelve of these awards have gone to New Yorkers.
“Not just the value itself but the significance that it has not only for the family, but the community and the United States,” Stephens says for his desire to find the rightful owner.
Anyone who may have lost a Bronze Star can email NewsChannel 9 at firstname.lastname@example.org.