News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

November 7, 2013

Restoring his honor: Stolen medals replaced for World War II veteran

TERRE HAUTE — At 92, World War II veteran Warren Wyant still had some things he wanted to do. One of them was to be part of the veterans parade in Indianapolis. And the other was to see the medals he was given for his military service once again.

And on Thursday night, as part of a program honoring veterans at Bethesda Gardens Assisted Living, he saw his medals — at least the replacements — again.

According to a media release for the event, Wyant’s Indianapolis home was burglarized nearly one year ago. Among the items taken were his Navy service medals, including a Purple Heart and a Good Conduct medal.

“I didn’t think the Purple Heart would ever show up,” he said after receiving his replacement medals.

But the replacement did show up thanks to months of work by a Bethesda Gardens maintenance man, Tony Shipman, who initiated the efforts to replace the stolen medals.

Shipman worked with government agencies — in the midst of the recent government shutdown — to get the medals verified and replaced.

“I’m just somebody who wants to help out,” Shipman said. “They’re his. They belong to him.”

But Shipman doesn’t want any of the credit.

“I didn’t do anything but make phone calls, file paperwork. … He [Wyant] went to World War II and fought for our freedom,” Shipman said.

“The least we can do is try to recover his stuff,” Shipman, who has heard Wyant’s war stories, said.

One of those stories is how Wyant got the Purple Heart medal.

In 1944, Wyant was shot in the left arm while serving on the USS Meredith (DD-726) on Utah Beach, Normandy, France.

“I was trying to get away from gunfire when I had it,” he said as he showed the scar on his arm.

“The ship was blown in half,” he said.

According to the Department of the Navy, the ship served as escort to transport forces assembling for the Normandy invasion.

“On 6 June, Meredith gave gunfire support to the landing forces on Utah Beach; and early in the morning of the following day, while patrolling the offshore waters as a screening vessel, she struck an enemy mine,” according to a Naval history article.

“Severely damaged, with a loss of seven killed and over 50 wounded and missing, Meredith was towed to an anchorage in the Bay of the Seine to be salvaged. However, on the morning of 9 June, her seams were further opened by an enemy bombing raid and shortly after she broke in two without warning and sank,” it stated.

And Wyant remembers being saved from the water by a landing craft, an Army soldier and another sailor.

“Picked me up three miles from where the ship sunk,” the Nebraska native said.

Before coming to Bethesda Gardens this year, he lived in Indianapolis. In addition to Shipman, he has made other friends in his new home, including Bill Dunn, who also served in the Navy and sat beside him at the event.

Dunn and Wyant were among the 17 veterans from the community who were recognized at the event, “We Honor Veterans,” hosted by Great Lakes Hospice and Home Health. The veterans were given certificates and a U.S. flag lapel pin.

Although he was surprised about seeing the (replacement) medals, Wyant said he was also surprised about being presented the United States flag at the ceremony.

“I was surprised about the flag because I thought you didn’t get that until you die and [they] put it on the casket,” he said laughing.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Suspect Dead, Marshals and Cop Wounded in NYC The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel
NDN Video
NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News