By Syma Chowdhry
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Senator Chris Coons got a chance to surprise a World War II veteran, whose nephew was being honored with a Bronze Star Medal.
Major David Strawbridge was presented with the award for his service in Afghanistan.
This took place at Senator Chris Coons’ office.
Strawbridge decided it was the perfect time to share the spotlight with his uncle, Francis Weaver, who was an Army technician during World War II.
Weaver was shocked to learn, he would be presented with five long-overdue medals. “This was a big surprise, big surprise. Had no idea what was going.”
The reason why he was never presented with a medal earlier, medals weren’t created until two years after World War II.
And Weaver’s military records were destroyed by a fire at the National Archive more than 40 years ago.
“There are a lot of service men and women like Uncle Franny that will not get their just reward because the records no longer exist,” Strawbridge explained. “That is why you have to engage your congressmen and senators to make that happen and that’s what I did.”
Senator Coons met Major Strawbridge in Afghanistan last year and they kept in touch ever since.
“It is often difficult for individuals even like Major Strawbridge to successfully advocate for his uncle for the decorations he wasn’t able to secure without the tireless help of our veteran’s advocate,” Coons’ said.
After Coon’s office did their research, they were able to issue the medals.
Around that same time, Strawbridge learned he was being honored with the Bronze Star and thought it was the perfect time to surprise his uncle.
Strawbridge said, “This was an incredible honor to have Uncle Franny get all of his recognition and awards. I expected one or two. I did not expect the bling that he is wearing now which is well deserved.”
For Weaver, the five medals presented this way was worth the 70-year wait.