But the story of Veer Krause's Purple Heart became a mystery after Emma's death around 1970. Many in his family, in fact, were unaware that he'd been a decorated soldier.
After visiting Belhaven, N.C., Veer's hometown, Judy Krause-Mobley posted a message on the Korean War Veterans' Association website, requesting more information. From there, she went to the military records section of ancestry.com and discovered the medals he'd received, including the Purple Heart.
"I knew nothing before that, other than he was killed in the Korean War," she said. "Beyond that, I had no idea what had happened to his Purple Heart."
Then the call came in late April from Jake Russell, a reporter for The Jacksonville Journal-Courier.
"I often wondered what happened to it," Krause-Mobley said. "No one cares about it like we do."
The ceremony begins just after noon on Friday with Grayson Tate, a retired major general, blowing into a pitch pipe and singing the national anthem. Tate, Shepard and Don Powers, a past state commander, are representing the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Shepard has asked Tate to present Veer's Purple Heart because Tate received his medal during the Korean War. Krause-Mobley, her brother and sister-in-law are also in the den, along with Krause-Mobley's son Will.
Tate presents the letter from President Truman.
"This is very suitable for framing," he said. "I think I recall President Truman saying he'd decided to sign a letter (for) troops who were killed. That's what this is, apparently. It's not just a copy. It's real ink."
Then he presents the Purple Heart. Shepard tells the family that Veer's name is on the back. "So this is authentic," Tate said.
Other items are given to the family — Veer's Good Conduct Medal, the box of family photographs, and a coin and certificate from the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Larry Krause, Judy's brother, holds the Purple Heart. His middle name is Worth, in honor of Veer. His only grandson is also named Worth.
"This is amazing for Veer, for Worth," Krause-Mobley said. "He's here."
Long after the ceremony is over, she rummages through the photographs, most of them fading images in black and white. There, near the bottom of the pile, she finds a 5-by-7-inch photo of a teenage boy with black hair, and he's with her.
"My heart almost stopped," she said. "I said, 'That's Worth.' He looks just like my dad would as a teenager. I guarantee you that's his senior picture. I'm holding that dear to my heart."