I am writing in regard to an article about two World War II veterans finally receiving medals many years after leaving the service. Although my dad's war record does not compare to that of Frank Matthews and Leon Gorczyca, he too tried for years to obtain his medals honoring him as being involved in five theaters of war.
Every time he or my mother contacted the Defense Department or Veterans Affairs, they were given the brush-off with "we're working on it, and we're 20,000 cases backlogged." Someone suggested that they try their representative, so my mother called Jack Quinn's office.
Two weeks later, Quinn's office called and told my parents to "invite the family" because my dad would finally receive his medals. Shortly thereafter, we sat in Quinn's office and heard him eloquently praise those who so willingly served and sacrificed for their country. In addition to the medals, my father was presented with a flag that was flown over the capitol building.
Quinn provided something for my father that words could not express, but his tears did. I think it was also very special for my mother, because her brother (my namesake), whom my father knew during the war, was killed only a handful of yards from where my father was stationed in Italy. It was a closure of some measure for both of them.