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Local man reunited with his brother's war medals

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Updated: 11/03/2013 7:59 am

Clifton Park, N.Y. - Nearly 13 years after he passed away, the medals of Staff Sgt. Robert Capper were returned Saturday to his brother. 

John Capper Jr., 83, of Clifton Park was in shock when he received a phone call from Captain Zack Fike with the Purple Hearts Reunited organization.

"He said 'we have your brother's medals' and I couldn't believe it," he said. 

Capper's brother Robert earned numerous service medals while flying 35 missions in Europe as a tail gunner in B-17 bombers. John says his brother didn't think of himself as a hero but for decades he kept a photo of his brother in his wallet and says he was his hero.

"He never really talked about it you know. He never even mentioned the Purple Heart," he said. 

Capper died in San Diego in 2001. His war medals were misplaced for some time, but on Saturday a special unveiling gave honor to SSG Robert Capper once again. His brother also received a special Purple Heart coin to carry with him like the photo he still has of his hero.

"It's  reminder for me all the time because I always think about my brother," said John Capper.

He says he will be donating all of his brother's medals to the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs.

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