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    Purple Heart Delivered to Family of Mystery Man Who Died in World War II

    Purple Heart Delivered to Family of Mystery Man Who Died in World War II

    Jim Corbran and Kevin Greiner never met each other until about a month ago, but for decades, they both pursued the same mysterious question: Who was Robert C. Greiner?

    Greiner, a South Park High School graduate, was an infantryman who died in  in August 1944, in the waning days of World War II. He had been a shadowy presence in the lives of Corbran and Kevin Greiner for a long time.

    “When I was 10, my sister and I found an old news article saying Robert Greiner was married to our mother, before we were born,” said Corbran, 70, of the  of Tonawanda. “But he was like this dark family secret that nobody would tell us anything about.”

    Kevin Greiner, 71, of West Seneca, has known for decades that he had two uncles — Robert Greiner and his brother, Edward — who grew up in Buffalo's First Ward and were killed in combat seven weeks apart in 1944.

    “But my dad and other people in the family never wanted to talk about it,” Kevin Greiner told The Buffalo News. “I guess the memory was just too painful for them to discuss it.”

    On Thursday afternoon, Corbran spent a couple of hours with Kevin Greiner and his wife, Sandra, in Gene McCarthy's historic First Ward tavern. And this time, there was plenty of conversation about Robert Greiner.

    What made the gathering special was the small but meaningful gift that Corbran gave to Kevin Greiner — the Purple Heart medal that the Army gave…

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