My dad served in the Korean War with the Army. At the end of his deployment, he was honorably discharged at the level of Sargent. After returning home, he moved to a different house. In the process of moving his belongings, he had forgotten to grab his Army uniform which was hanging on the door and went back to get it. Unfortunately, it was gone. He never understood why someone would take his uniform, and couldn't imagine the homeowner taking it, knowing it was his. The Army uniform also had all of his medals pinned to it. He was never to see that uniform again.
I had never heard this story until April, just 3 months ago. My dad rarely talks about his time in Korea. I am sure like others who have served during war-time, they would rather forget their experience rather than relive it telling stories. So, when my dad, out of the blue, told me his medals have been missing since then and wondered if I could help him get them back, I leaped at the opportunity.
I started with google and looked around at different websites, but decided my quickest and best course of action might be to contact our Senator, Charles Grassley. I sent Senator Grassley an email and within a few days I heard from one of his staff members in his local office in Cedar Rapids. After sending the proper paperwork (thankfully my dad had all of his cards and information stating what medals he earned), we just had to sit and wait. Because the military records office suffered a fire in 1973, it was extremely important that my dad had all his records.
Then, last week a package came in my mail from Senator Grassley's office. I was not expecting them to arrive this quickly. I had only asked for them to arrive in time for my dad's 80th birthday this August. On Saturday, while visiting my parents, I noticed a certificate sitting out. Dad had received a certificate from the US Secretary of Defense thanking him for his service during the Korean War in honor of its 60th Anniversary. It was the perfect catalyst for presenting Dad with his medals.
He was pretty surprised that they had arrived already and took each one out of the box carefully. He looked each one over and remarked how he remembered them.
Afterwards, Dad reached over and grabbed my hand and thanked me. As a lump caught in my throat, I thanked him for letting me help and be a part of this. I am honored and so proud that I could do this for him.
Thank you Senator Charles Grassley and your staff
for making the service of men and women in our country a priority.