Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One War....

Two Brothers....    Two Countries....    Two Sets of WWII Medals

I must say, I am very pleased that I made a trip to the post office this morning.  It's chilly here (still) and the sky is gray and wet, the air damp and rainy. I'd much rather be reading blogs and drinking a hot cup of coffee.  But I received a slip in my box at home -  there is a package at the PO and I didn't recognize the name nor did I recall ordering anything so off we go to "town". 

The Postman retrieved the package from the back, but couldn't hand it to me - there were formalities?   I see the Royal Mail post mark on a small bubble-wrap type package "Is that from England?" I ask,  of course it is!!!   At this point I couldn't even hear him speaking to me, what was he asking for?   Why did I need to sign something?   Why do I need to write my address?   Excuse me, do you have a letter opener?  I need to open that right away!!!   

I'm not going to bash our military's way of going about the business of issuing or re-issuing medals to families (although I do have a few choice words for them on making the process easier) but I will say that our friends in England  have a good  hold on the situation and here, in only one month's time I have received the medals for an Uncle who was killed in the war.  Receiving them gives me mixed emotions, while I am elated to have them, I am saddened that it took his family so long to realize that he was due something and no one tried to get them on his behalf.   I've not done any research on these medals or what they were awarded for, I will do that at a later time, right now I just want to share the news that they've been received.

If you didn't see it before, I had previously obtained my Grandfather's WWII medals from our military.    His brother John was left in England when he was a boy, too ill to make the trip across the ocean.  He remained there with other family members and entered the British Army to fight in WWII.  Sadly he was killed in action in 1940 at the young age of 21.   My Grandfather was then determined to fight as well, only he was here and entered the US Army Air Force.  He was wounded in action and returned home in 1944.   His medals were misplaced or lost some many years ago and I made it my mission to obtain replacements from the military for my grandmother (who is still living at the ripe age of 92).

John was a bit of a mystery to us.  His mother never spoke much of him, but when I obtained the items that she left behind I found that she did have a strong connection to this son, and a broken heart that kept her from discussing it.  It must've been very hard for her to leave him there.  I wish I could tell her that his medals are now where they belong - with his family.


  1. How wonderful to finally have those medals. That must have been just heartbreaking to have to leave a son behind. Fantastic job of preserving their war service.

  2. It's really nice that you've done this!!

  3. They are beautiful! It's said to think of how many unclaimed medals there must be. It's great to know that all your efforts brought results!

  4. That's fabulous. I didn't even realize that replacement medals could be obtained. Congrats to you. I can imagine the mix of emotions this must have brought you.


  5. What a treasure!