ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — Thanks to a member of Congress, a World War II veteran’s stolen medals have been replaced.
KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold reports that Buddy Romero was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He spent two years on a minesweeper in the South Pacific, going ahead of other ships to seek out underwater explosives.
The dangerous job earned him several medals.
“I just did my duty; I pulled a few people out of the water,” Romero said.
Thirty-five years ago, those medals were stolen from his home in Alhambra.
Congresswoman Judy Chu, however, helped give the vet new, replacement ones.
Romero’s wife of 61 years, Henrietta, was thrilled to finally have the medals back home where they belong.
“It’s part of the completion of our history, of our family history,” she said.
The couple’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren said they hear stories about the Navy all the time. The medals are one more piece that bring Romero’s memories back to life.
“When we look at those medals, he was just a child, pretty much, facing things that adults would have a hard time facing,” Romero’s daughter, Barbara Doerning, said.
Despite his bravery and service, Romero doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I’m really not a hero, there are a lot of people I know who are really true heroes,” he said.
Romero said he plans to pass his medals down to his grandchildren.