Veteran sues storage company after Purple Heart is found in Shelton

SHELTON — A reservist in the Texas Army has filed a lawsuit against Oakdale Self Storage, alleging that the company negligently evicted her storage unit at its Wallingford location, causing her severe emotional distress.

Army reserve News. Heather Awner, a Purple Heart Award winner and former Connecticut resident who now lives in El Paso, Texas, is suing Oakdale, which has a location in Shelton, and employees Chris Oliwa and Kevin Oliwa for negligence, statutory theft and Violation of service members’ Civil Relief Act, among a variety of counts.

Awner became aware of the loss of the contents of her storage unit in July when Shelton residents Russ and Audrey Martin reached out to her to say they owned her Purple Heart. Russ Martin had received the Purple Heart with Awner’s name on it from an employee at Shelton Pawn and Jewelry.

“This isn’t just about property,” Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, PC attorney Garrett Denniston, representing Awner, told Hearst Connecticut Media. “What was taken from Heather are priceless and irreplaceable memories.”