TYLER, Texas (KETK) - When he was 21 years old, Robert Bates was killed in action aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack.
His body still remains sealed within the ship below the ocean floor.
But not his memory.
And through the efforts of a few good men, a classroom, and their teacher, his family is now whole.
It was an embrace for Kris Wilson, Robert Bate's niece, that encompassed so much more than a first time meeting, and a returned family heirloom.
Robert Bate's Purple Heart was found on the side of the road in Bakersfield, outside a local VFW post.
The post then enlisted the help of Ken Hooper, and his Bakersfield High School class to help find who this belonged to.
A search that led them to East Texas.