Reporting Bree Sison
NEW BEDFORD (CBS) – The father of a U.S. Marine killed in the line of duty received a replacement Purple Heart Friday morning.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports
The original Purple Heart awarded posthumously to Lance Corporal Michael Ford was stolen from his father’s home a few weeks ago. Thieves also took a Purple Heart coin given to the elder Ford by a veteran.
“I just can’t understand why they would steal them,” Joseph Ford told WBZ-TV.
Congressman Bill Keating and his staff worked to secure the second medal quickly and made the presentation to Ford’s family just before Memorial Day.
“It’s a time in our country when we all look back and try to remember everyone who gave great sacrifice,” Keating said.
Ford was also presented with a letter and a coin from Charlie Company, the group Ford served with when he died in 2006.
The 19-year-old had been in Iraq for a month when his Humvee rolled over an IED. Ford enlisted in the Marines out of high school after hearing a speech by then President George W. Bush on television.
Joseph Ford says he received emails and phone calls from around the country after news of the theft broke. Many veterans offered their own Purple Hearts as replacements.
“It’s been amazing the response I’ve gotten since this incident happened. I can’t thank the American public enough,” said Ford.