Couple on mission to find family after plaque honoring fallen soldier found in trash

Plaque honors Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Montgomery

By Alex Finnie - Reporter

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - A couple is asking for the public's help after a plaque honoring a fallen hero was found in the trash of a framing shop.

The couple has made it their mission to find the late soldier's family. Ken Palmieri saw the frame in the trash.

"Then I said, 'Oh, no. We can't have that in the garbage. We've got to send that back to the family,'" Palmieri said.

It was a plaque with President Barack Obama's signature honoring fallen soldier Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael P. Montgomery. The decorated officer died in a helicopter crash while conducting military operations in Afghanistan in 2009.

The piece was being framed at the Key Largo Framing Gallery in Deerfield Beach. The owner of the store passed away a few weeks ago, and when renovation crews started emptying stuff out, among some of the trash was a treasured piece. It was a piece a couple pulled out of the dumpster and has been trying to get back to Montgomery's family ever since.

"We tried on our own to find the family members because the obituary had the mother's name, son's name, but there are so many of them we couldn't narrow it down," Palmieri said.

The Palmieris have been at this for two weeks on social media, writing posts. They've also reached out via Facebook to a person they believe to be Montgomery's wife.

"The last posts his wife was making were all dedicated to him," Palmieri said. "She loved him very much."

They just want to send a piece of her husband's memory back home.

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