Published in the September 26 – October 9, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

There’s a lot of stressful news today, so it’s nice to share with Morgan Hill Life readers a truly heart-warming story. We saw it on San Francisco TV station KPIX 5 News as reported by Kiet Do.

Morgan Hill resident Lenny Kurtz was out walking his dogs on Cosmo Avenue when his canine friends sniffed out a black leather satchel on the street. He opened it up and found two small boxes holding medals: a Purple Heart and a Navy Corpsman medal for service in Vietnam.

Kurtz turned it over to the Morgan Hill police who used social media to help find the owner. On the MHPD’s Facebook page, they posted this notice with photos: “Someone is definitely missing these today, they just may not realize it yet. This Purple Heart and Army Commendation medal were found with some other military paperwork in Morgan Hill. We are thinking the owner put his suitcase on top of his car and drove off. Let’s find whomever these special medals belong to and get them returned.”

The owner turned out to be 75-year-old Jeffrey Simon. The veteran came to the police station and met Sgt. Troy Hoefling who greeted him in the lobby. Simon had no idea that the medals had been temporarily lost until he found a message on his phone.

“Being that they were missing, I would have gone crazy looking for them because I asked the gal that packed them, I asked here today where you put those,” he said on the TV report. “And she said, ‘I don’t know. Somebody grabbed those and put them in the truck.’ So, I would probably have freaked out.”

Hoefling then introduced him to Kurtz, who it turns out also has a Corpsman medal from Vietnam. Kurtz said he would have missed seeing the satchel if it hadn’t been for his dogs.

Here’s the link to see the KPIX 5 video of the report:

No doubt the retrieved medals will make this year’s Veterans Day a special one for Simons … and maybe even form a new friendship.

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Congratulations are in order for recipients of the Gavilan College 2018 Community Spirit Awards, including Morgan Hill Life publisher Marty Cheek. The awards are presented annually in each of the communities served by Gavilan College, to honor the generous people and institutions that contribute to improving the quality of life in each community. Each of the three sets of awards includes an individual, a business, and an organization.

For Morgan Hill and San Martin, Cheek joins the South Valley Islamic Community and the Morgan Hill Art School; in Gilroy, chef Carlos Pineda, Gilroy Elks Lodge and Old City Hall Restaurant; and in San Benito County artists Rolan Resendiz and Joel Esqueda join LULAC and Teknova.

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Image result for Lives Well Lived movieWhile we’re offering up congratulations, we would be remiss to omit Diana Miller, senior project manager for the Santa Clara County Department of Adult Aging Services, who worked to help the county become the first in the United States to have all 15 cities designated by the World Health Organization as “Age Friendly.” Age Friendly Silicon Valley is part of worldwide effort led by WHO to help communities consider and implement policies, services and/or initiatives to support older adults to live healthy and vibrant lives.

The county and city are showing the film “Lives Well Lived,” by Sky Bergman that was inspired by her 106-year-old grandmother. It is scheduled to be shown at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center.

To see a schedule of events during the Age-Friendly week visit


Robert Airoldi