As a very proud daughter of a WWII veteran, I was deeply saddened when I learned that all of his military medals had been lost. With several moves to different states and 6 curious children, it was bound to happen.
Genealogy is one of my hobbies and I thoroughly love finding items that belonged to my ancestors, no matter how big or small or whether it's worth a dime. The sentimental value is all that matters. That's why I was so upset when I realized that the medals had been lost. My father was my hero, my own Superman. He never asked for awards or recognition. He felt that he owed his country, not the other way around, so though I know he was proud of his medals, they probably meant more to me than they did to him.
I already had a lot of experience in tracking down genealogy records, but wasn't sure I could do the same with military medals. I contacted the government agency that handles such things, but they weren't sure they could even find his record, due to a fire years ago that destroyed most of the records being held in St. Louis. All I could do was give as much information as I had and then hope.
Weeks later, I received a phone call from someone at the agency. She not only had the medals I requested, but had found his military records, which I had previously been told were destroyed. I was ecstatic, to say the least.
A few days later, I received a package and my hands trembled as I opened it. Inside were all the medals my father had earned, including a Bronze Star. I thought there had been a mistake, since my father had never mentioned the Bronze Star. I checked his records that I had just received and yes indeed, he was awarded a Bronze Star. Unfortunately, I'll never know why he got it.
For anyone who would like to obtain replacement medals for a loved one who served their country, go to:
If your loved one is still living, they must request their own. The medals are available to those who served any branch of service between 1945 and 1991. There is no cost to you. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.