James Broyles earned several medals for valor and service in World War II, but those very special recognitions were stolen from his house several years ago. On Thursday, he finally got what he earned nearly 70 years ago.
The 88-year-old veteran has a lot to be proud of. Six decades ago he fought in WWII -- his plane shot down 13 times.
"I'm proud of it," he said.
But all the medals he got for his service -- gone-- robbers stole them from his Litchfield Park home two years ago. Broyles turned to his Congressman, Ed Pastor for help to get those medals replaced.
"It's been a couple years in the making. They lost all the records -- that's why they had a hard time getting them," said Broyles.
"We grabbed onto them and said hey, let's see if we can get these for you.. we really want to make sure this is something special for him," said James Pitts.
On the day we celebrate the nation's independence, Broyles was honored for what he did to protect it. The Congressman's office presented him with six medals for service.
The good conduct medal, American campaign medal, Asian Pacific medal, World War II victim medal, Presidential Unit citation and honorable service.
All recognitions Broyles earned fighting as a young man -- A time he recalls vividly.
"To have the opportunity is the reason why we are here today. There's no other great opportunity than giving back to veteran."
Congressional officers are able to help veterans who are trying to obtain military medals. That's how Broyles was able to get the replacements.