MURFREESBORO, TN (CNN) — A medal earned for valor is priceless.
Now a Marine is searching for a stolen piece of his family history. He is afraid a Purple Heart and other medals may be lost forever.
The medals were pinned to a backpack, which was stolen from Ricky Brant's car.
Brant comes from a family of military men. His great-uncle, his brothers, his grandfather and his great-grandfather all served in the military.
"Everybody in the family served, so I felt it was a calling to do the same," said Brant, who served in the Marine Corps for 14 years and now is a reservist.
Brant's grandfather, John Pearson, fought in World War II and was twice wounded in Vietnam, and received two purple hearts.
"His whole life was service," said Brant.
Brant recently left his Marine Corps surplus bag in his truck after returning from guard duty in Alabama. The bag was stolen, Purple Heart and all, from the truck, which was parked in front of his home.
"My grandfather is no longer with us and I just recently put [the purple hearts] on there," said Brant. "Having that and having it for my boys and what it means that he earned it after being wounded in war. It's probably in the trash now."
He also had several medals of his own that he had earned while serving in the Marine Corps. They are gone too, along with a hand gun, personal documents and cash.
Brant believes teenagers may be responsible for breaking into his truck. He had other valuables in the truck that weren't taken.
"If someone was professionally taking things, they would have taken them," said Brant.
Brant had left the truck unlocked, something that used to be common in the neighborhood until this week. He said that's not going to happen anymore.
"The valuables inside, I can do without," said Brant. "It's just having the bag back."
Brant's brother-in-law's vehicle was also broken into the same night.
There has been a string of car break-ins all over Murfreesboro. Police have increased patrol in those areas.
Photo from CNN