Sen. Berke Says His Bill Preserves Respect for Military Medals

Press Release from Sen. Andy Berke; April 27, 2011:

NASHVILLE – A bill by State Senator Andy Berke to preserve unclaimed military medals passed 7-0 through a Senate committee Tuesday.

“Veterans’ medals are timeless treasures that should never be sold or auctioned,” Berke said. “This bill would ensure that they are given the respect they deserve and are returned to their rightful owners.”

Senate Bill 572 would require the state treasurer to hold any abandoned military medal until the owner or the proper beneficiaries could be identified for the return of the medal. The state would be able to appoint a third party, such as a veterans’ organization, to hold such a medal.

Currently banks are not required to turn over military medals to the state treasurer as part of unclaimed property, meaning they can end up on Internet auction sites or be lost forever. By preserving the medals and raising awareness through veterans’ organizations, Berke is hopeful that more medals will end up where they belong.

“These medals are a symbol of the service and bravery of men and women throughout our history,” Berke said. “This is just a small way that we can hopefully repay some of them.”

The Senate State and Local Government Committee passed the bill, which will now go to the Senate floor. The House version of the bill awaits a hearing in the Calendar and Rules Committee.