Dubuque Veteran Receives Medals 67 Years Later
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa - A Dubuque World War Two Veteran got a special Christmas present today, 67 years late. Army Veteran Zane Thorpe earned several military medals in the mid 1940′s, but a glitch in the system kept him from getting them.
Congressman Bruce Braley presented Thorpe with seven medals, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Thorpe said, “it seems nice. ”
Thorpe earned the Purple Heart when he was injured in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. But his family is just now learning how he earned the Bronze Star. Thorpe saved a fellow soldier’s life. Thorpe’s son, Monte Thorpe said, “Well, Dad got his friend and threw him over his shoulder and ran up the hill. ”
Suffering from his own injuries, the Army honorably discharged Thorpe in July, 1945. He didn’t get his medals, but held on to the discharge papers ever since. But Thorpe’s home and several possessions were destroyed in last July’s flood.
Monte said, “just by luck they floated out of his filing cabinet and I cleaned them off the best I could. But they were still caked with mud. ”
The family says they may never know why he didn’t get those medals all those years ago. But they are thrilled he has them now. Monte said, “it means a lot to our family it’s a great Christmas gift. ”
Thorpe is a man of few words. But today, his face said it all.
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