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Purple Heart coin, jewelry stolen from Menallen home

| Monday, April 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Purple Heart coin that is awarded to relatives of military personnel who are killed or wounded in combat is among the items that were stolen from a Fayette County home.

Someone forced their way into the Menallen residence of Rosalie and Wes Boots on Thursday and took an unspecified amount of jewelry and the coin, according to state police at Uniontown.

Rosalie Boots said she and other family members were awarded the coins when her stepson, Tim Boots, was seriously wounded in Iraq in 2005. An Army specialist at the time. Tim Boots lost the lower part of his right leg when an Iraqi insurgent drove a car-laden bomb into the Humvee that Boots was driving.

“Until you've had a very dear one injured in some way, you don't realize how it's going to impact you,” Rosalie Boots said on Sunday. “Getting that (coin) was just a reminder of what he had gone through, and the hope for his future.”

Fellow guardsmen in Tim Boots' Connellsville-based Army National Guard unit pulled Boots and two other soldiers from the burning Humvee. Tim Boots, who now lives in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood, was awarded a Purple Heart.

Rosalie Boots said she and other family members who visited Tim Boots during his recovery at a U.S. military hospital were awarded the coins.

Other items that were taken include pearls and a handmade medallion. Police said an investigation is ongoing.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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