Medals returned posthumously to veteran

September 28, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - For some Vietnam War veterans, the priority was seeing the conflict come to an end instead of worrying about what kind of service medals they might be entitled to, said U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.

But for Vietnam War veteran Robert C. Grace Sr., his medals were a treasure.

"He was always dusting them, cleaning them," said his wife, Dorothy M. Grace of Martinsburg.

After some of Grace's medals were stolen from the couple's home, Dorothy M. Grace went to Capito for help in replacing them.

Capito, R-W.Va., and her staff worked on obtaining the medals, and on Monday they were awarded to Grace's wife.

"This is an honor," Dorothy Grace said as the medals were presented to her by Capito in Capito's local office on Foxcroft Avenue.


Robert C. Grace Sr., died in June last year, his wife said.

Grace, who was in the U.S. Army for almost 25 years, died as a result of Agent Orange exposure and myeloma, his wife said.

The couple lived in Frederick, Md., but moved to Martinsburg so Robert Grace could be closer to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, his wife said.

"Toward the end, he couldn't walk. He was having a rough time," said Dorothy Grace.

Grace, who was 62 when he died, was a tech controller, his wife said. Much of his work was in communications and was top secret, she said.

Eleven medals were presented to Dorothy Grace, including a Joint Service Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.

Dorothy Grace said she traveled around the world with her husband as part of his military work and his duties took them to places such as Panama, Okinawa, Italy and Hawaii.

The couple's son, Robert C. Grace Jr., lives in Keedysville.

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