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.
ut until just this year
, he never received the medals he earned on the battlefield.
or many of his 88 years
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?
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.
, his entire battalion was in danger.
He told everybody to run
and they all ran as quick as they could," Stempky said.
ut in a moment of crisis
And I quickly got on top of the tank and rolled that fire right off top of the shells
," Stempky explained.
he battalion was safe.
He quickly ran back and said I'm recommending you right now for a metal
," Stempky noted.
ays following the incident
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."
ut he never rec
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
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
recall the stories
nd have a real hero in their life to look up to
," Carol Stempky said.
ut for now
Ed Stempky plans on setting the medals aside and telling the stories himself.