BOSTON (CBS) – Frederick Sylvia Jr. speaks proudly of his father, U.S. Army soldier Frederick Sylvia, who served his country during World War II.
“He had pride in what he did and that’s why he wanted those medals be with him,” Sylvia said.
During his time of service, which included the Battle of the Bulge, he earned four priceless medals: The Victory Medal, The Bronze Star, The Good Conduct Medal and the European – African- Middle Eastern American Campaign Medal.
Sadly, all four were stolen in 2011 while living in an elderly facility in Acushnet.
Mark Costa is the Assistant Chief Probation Officer with the Massachusetts Probation Service. He supervised the woman who allegedly stole Sylvia’s medals.
“The individual I had on probation was charged with receiving the stolen medals and discarded them and it’s uncertain if it went to a local pawn shop,” Costa said.
Sylvia’s medals were gone for good and he died a year later at the age of 92. Costa wanted to make things right and has spent the last two years getting replacement medals and locating Sylvia’s family who all now live in Florida.
Originally Sylvia wanted be buried with his four medals. That never happened, but now Mr. Costa has taken upon himself to make sure four replica medals be returned to Sylvia’s family down in Florida for a special ceremony taking place this week.
“Mr. Sylvia served during World War II with some of the bravest soldiers this country has ever served and I am proud to return these medals to him and his family,” Costa said.
The medals will be presented to the family on Wednesday in a special ceremony.
“They are finally back! And I am forever grateful to Mark Costa,” Sylvia said.