More than 100,000 soldiers are laid to rest at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, but this week one specific person has been on Joe Contreras's mind.
"He was a medic. It looks like this was his combat badge right there," Contreras said as he looked down at all the colorful decorations.
Contreras is a bit of a military buff. The San Antonio man spent nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army. So when he came across a box of medals in a storage unit he bought last month, it piqued his interest.
Inside: a Purple Heart, a Bronze Medal and an array of other military decorations in a box illustrating the life of a WWII veteran.
"I thought they were just cool," he said. "It's something that I felt the family members of this man should be reunited with."
So Contreras went to work. After finding the name Gabriel H. Barela on the back of the Purple Heart, he took his search online to Facebook. Within a few hours, he was able to track down the soldier's family and return the precious items.
"To a lot of people they might not mean a lot, but to the individual and their family it shows their selfless service to their country," he said. "I hope family members will be able to say one day, 'Ya know, my grandfather or great-grandfather served in WWII and received a Purple Heart from it.'"