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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.


T

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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