In a surreal sequence of events, The Dalles resident Richard Hicks’ insomnia led to the return, after nearly 50 years, of a Purple Heart medal to a Vietnam veteran who lives in Georgia.

Hicks likes to record shows for when he’s wide-eyed at night, and one of his favorites is “American Picker,” a show where antique collectors scour attics and garages across the land looking for finds.

On one show Hicks watched in January, the pickers came across a collector with a Purple Heart — the medal given to those wounded in combat — that he had acquired.

He wanted to return it to its owner, but didn’t know how.