Medals of WWII veteran returned to his Illinois family after decades in Texas

What was lost has been found.

Medals belonging to a World War II veteran have been returned to his Rockford family.

Homer Stanger’s family never even knew they existed. But it was clear Tuesday it was quite an honor to get them back.

Brigadier General Mark Jackson of the Illinois National Guard made the presentation to Stanger’s niece, Kathy Johnson, who says her great uncle, who died in 1981, never talked about his time in the Army.

Seven medals in all, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Discovered in a sheriff’s department evidence locker in Wise, Texas, the reunion comes decades after they had been stolen.

“It was just quite a shock when I got the call,” Johnson said. “Thank you for coming everybody.”

Johnson says she will reach out to the VFW Hall in Loves Park to see if they would like to display her uncle's medals.