UTICA – With the help of Rep. Claudia Tenney, a World War II Army veteran's family was honored with his medals that had been missing for years.
Craig Hook wanted to find a way to get his father’s service medals that had been lost, so he reached out to Tenney’s office for help.
At the West Side Senior Center in Utica on Friday, a ceremony was held to honor the late Technician Fifth Grade Willaim Rea, who served in the infantry in the U.S. Army during WWII. During that time he earned several medals, including:
- Distinguished Service Cross
- American Defense Service Medal
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver service star and one bronze service star
- World War II Victory Medal
- Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II (aka “Ruptured Duck”)
The Distinguished Service Cross is one tier below the Medal of Honor. Each of those medals was presented to Rea's family on Friday.
Rea’s son explained what it means to his family to have his finally have his father’s medals.
"Absolutely marvelous," Craig Hook said. "I got to tell ya, I've been trying for quite awhile to see if I could get someone to replace the medals that were unfortunately lost along the way. His ex- wife sold all his belongings and the medals were amongst them and we don't know who she sold them to."
In addition to the medals, Tenney also presented the family with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol on June 30 in his honor.
Tenney says her office is honored to help families with requests like these.