Fritch residents help WWII veteran recover lost medals - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Fritch residents help WWII veteran recover lost medals

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Fritch, TX - A veteran who lost everything in the Fritch wildfire this past May received a special gift this weekend.

Like many residents, Leroy George lost everything in the wildfire, including military memorabilia he had kept safe for more than 70 years. Two different community groups came together to recover the World War II military medals George thought he would never see again. "The fire happened so fast, we didn't have time to take anything with us," explained George. "We went out with our clothes on and that was it. We lost everything."

The Celebration Family Church and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 404 joined forces to give George back a piece of his past. They surprised him Sunday by presenting him with replacement medals in a shadow box, including his purple heart.

"Oh it meant everything in the world to me," said George. "They are my prized possessions. That was such a surprise they pulled on me. I was flabbergasted. I didn't know what to say or think. All I could just say was thank you. I was so shook, I could not talk. In fact, I was crying."

The VVA representative who presented the shadow box said it was an honor to replace George's lost medals. "It was just an honor and a great blessing to be able to do that," said Larry Barnett. "Being a veteran, our motto is never let one generation of veterans abandon another. That's what we as Vietnam veterans represent. I used to think the medals didn't mean anything, but they mean more and more every day."

The meaning behind the medals is something George said he will cherish for many years to come. "It was a blessing to have all of that back in my hands again. You can't imagine. That was a real gift that will never be forgotten."

George is rebuilding his house in Fritch and hopes to be able to move in within a couple months.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10

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  • Madison Alewel

    Madison Alewel

    Madison joined NewsChannel 10 as a reporter in October 2013. She comes from Las Vegas, Nevada but has strong Midwest roots.
    Madison joined NewsChannel 10 as a reporter in October 2013. She comes from Las Vegas, Nevada but has strong Midwest roots.