MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Lakeville family is asking for help in the search for two irreplaceable items belonging to a Vietnam Veteran. War medals were taken during a burglary at a townhome near Heritage Commons in Lakeville on Easter Sunday.

Lakeville police are investigating the burglary. Investigators say the thief or thieves broken into the home through a downstairs bedroom window.

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Richard and Elaine Obershaw were in Florida visiting their son at the time of the burglary.

“Our particular building, there are 4 units, so we felt fairly safe,” said Elaine Obershaw, describing the neighborhood they live in.

It was a neighbor who noticed a painting sitting outside their garage on Sunday and called the Obershaw’s. They gave the neighbor permission to check their home and the neighbor found it broken into. The Obershaw’s flew home from Florida to find their home unrecognizable.

“It looked like a tornado had gone through. I mean every drawer, every cupboard was open and things were thrown out,” Elaine said.

The Obershaw’s found their 2019 Buick Encore stolen, as well as several other expensive items including jewelry, lamps, medication and tools.

However, what felt like the biggest loss was something small, yet irreplaceable.

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“On my wall in my office was my Purple Heart medal and a Bronze Star medal and for some reason they think they needed to take that,” said Richard.

Richard served 9 months as a staff sergeant in the Vietnam War for the U.S. Army.

“It brings back a lot of memories of how I got them in Vietnam,” said Obershaw. “I got shot there in May of 1969 and was awarded those medals, so I’m pretty proud of them.”

These medals are not only just cherished by the man who earned them, but by the whole family, including their son, Shane.

“There’s not a day that goes by where you don’t hear a good old-fashioned Vietnam story from him,” said Shane Obershaw. “We need these medals to come back home where they belong.”

The purple heart medal has Richard Obershaw’s name engraved on the back.

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If you find either medal, contact Lakeville Police at (952) 985-2800.

Marielle Mohs