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Purple Heart award reunited with owner's family

Posted at 3:25 PM, Mar 28, 2018

A lost Purple Heart award returned home on Wednesday. 

Tucson Police say one of their officers recovered a Purple Heart award from a local pawn store several months ago. But with the help of Purple Heart Reunited, they were able to track down the owner of the award and his family.

The award belongs to Colonel Leon Elie Lyon. 

TPD held a ceremony today to return the Purple Heart to the family. Officer Jim Caccavale from TPD presented the Purple Heart to the recipient's grandson, Glen Lyon. There was also a representative from Purple Hearts Reunited. 

Lyon entered active duty on May 8, 1917 during World War I as an Engineer Officer. He graduated from Tulane University with a degree in science in 1894. After one month serving in WWI, he was promoted to Major and 13 days after that, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. 

During his service in France, Lyon was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He survived the war and was honorably discharged on Oct. 15th, 1919. 

He entered service again less than a year later and served until the early 1940's, making the rank of Colonel in 1942.

Colonel Lyon married Emily Cornelia Knapp Lyon in 1907. She died young in 1938. The couple had one child, Oliver Day Lyon. Oliver served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force and saw service in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. 

Colonel Leon E. Lyon passed away on Dec. 9, 1943. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.