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      After 69 years, WWII soldier finally receives his medals


      T

      his week marked the 69th anniversary of
      D-Day in World War II. Just a few weeks after the famous 1944 invasion, one Cheboygan soldier was sent to Normandy to help fight the Nazis.


      B

      ut until just this year

      , he never received the medals he earned on the battlefield.


      F

      or many of his 88 years

      , E

      d
      Stempky told stories to family about his time in the army. These stories led his wife and children wondering, where were the medals that he earned?


      T

      o
      Stempky, the memories of WWII are vivid and one story stands out.


      "

      The whole net was a fire on top of the big shells that were quick detonating shell that each weighed 242 lbs

      .," Stempky said.


      W

      ithin seconds

      , his entire battalion was in danger.


      "

      He told everybody to run
      and they all ran as quick as they could," Stempky said.


      B

      ut in a moment of crisis

      ,



      S

      tempky acted.


      "

      And I quickly got on top of the tank and rolled that fire right off top of the shells

      ," Stempky explained.


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      he battalion was safe.


      "

      He quickly ran back and said I'm recommending you right now for a metal

      ," Stempky noted.


      D

      ays following the incident

      ,



      S

      tempky was honored for his heroics in front of his fellow soldiers


      "

      With the quick detonating fuses on that 242 pound shells
      it would have blown that place," Stempky said. "Heck you wouldn't find me in pieces."


      B

      ut he never rec

      ei

      ved the
      Bronze Star medal he was promised. So his wife and children tracked down the medals he earned nearly seven decades after he served.


      "

      He deserved to have the me

      d

      als

      ,

      but not for only his sake

      ,

      but for the sake of his children and his grandchildren so that they could you know see these me

      d

      als

      ,

      recall the stories

      ,



      a

      nd have a real hero in their life to look up to

      ," Carol Stempky said.


      B

      ut for now
      Ed Stempky plans on setting the medals aside and telling the stories himself.

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