Hi y’all. Long time no talk.. again. However, this same day last year I made a post and it was a dedication to my father, my hero, my veteran. In that post I explained how he is a true hero that was never represented properly. Well…. a year later and I can say, my father has finally been properly represented.
On November 5th, 2017 my mother received a knock at the door saying they found my fathers Purple Heart…. nothing but tears for the past 6 days, just saying. Of course, tears of joy, excitement, and complete shock. My father has been looking for his Purple Heart for over 20 years. My father fought in Vietnam War and was heavily injured during that time. He received four bronze stars and a Purple Heart… however his DD214 only states that he received the bronze stars. The Purple Heart information was burned up in a fire in Illinois after he returned home from war. All the information, to include the Medal was now MIA. My father heavily wondered about what happened to his Medal, and wanted to see it, physically in his hand. (I will post the links to the articles that wrote an awesome story on his background and the return of my fathers Purple Heart Medal.)
After the Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs Office helped facilitate the return of my fathers Purple Heart back to our family, it finally made its way to NY to where it belongs. (We are beyond grateful for your help in returning my fathers Medal, Thank you doesn’t seem enough) !!!
I really just wanted to recognize as much as I can, the people who helped to make this all possible.
Thank you Karen Heppner, you’re amazing, amazing, amazing.. not sure our family can thank you enough.
Thank you Eric Cox of KMOV for your first hand report of the return of my fathers Purple Heart, the night we found out because of YOU!
Thank you to the office of Congressman Lee Zeldin for helping my parents get their answers for my fathers military career.
Thank you to WNYT- Channel 13s very own John Craig and Donna Kessler for taking the time to make this story known in Upstate New York!
Thank you to Jan Conti for making the story possible in Upstate, NY!! Xo
Thank you to SSgt Surinaga for not only presenting my fathers Flag during his funeral, but for presenting my fathers Purple Heart to my mother, on your day off and Veterans Day as well!
Thank you to all of the news stations who chose to cover this story all week for my father. He was the most selfless human being, not a flashy man, and he would’ve just said a simple “thank you”. He was a man of little words, but huge compassion for everyone, and would’ve been extremely proud to say he received this medal, but more so that his family worked hard to continue his legacy. Thank you, News 12 Long Island, Riverhead News Review, Riverhead LOCAL, Newsday, WNYT, KMOV, WAND17, Belleville NEWS, St-Louis Post, and I am sure I am missing many. THANK YOU! My hopes is that your story helps to bring light to the awesome program that helped to bring my fathers Medal back to us.
Thank you to ALL of our Family and Friends who have reached out, shared my fathers story, and supported us.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to the beautiful ceremony today. Thank you to the representative from Lee Zeldins Office, our beautiful vocalist, Riverhead Ambulance Department, Veterans, and Family and Friends.
Can’t forget to Thank my husband and daughter for dealing with my emotions all week.. and all year since losing my Dad. The support means the world to me. 💜
This is a very long post, and I am sure I missed someone but.. I had to say thank you.. I had to let you know that we can finally celebrate Veterans Day knowing that my Fathers heroism for the first time has officially become noticed.
Dad, I miss you.. I’ve told you this time and time again.. you’re my hero, you’re my best friend and this still all seems way to surreal but I am so glad you finally received your medal. This was well deserved, and way too long .. but it’s here, it’s real, and I’m so proud of you. I love you, handsome!!
Here are some images from today, and the links to some articles.
Xo, Heather J.