A family history search ends with a medal ceremony

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 man's journey to learn more about his father and grandfather ends with them being honored for their service to our country.

Donald Jeffery says he wanted to know more about his father and grandfather's time spent in the military. He requested documents from Senator John Boozman.

That's when Boozman's office told him they wanted to present him with the medals his family earned during two wars. "I was shocked. Everyone was very professional. They helped expedite everything." Jeffery said.

The medals were presented Tuesday night at the Jonesboro VFW.

Jeffery's grandfather, Forrest Jeffery, was awarded the WWI Victory Medal and the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military decoration.

According to a press release from Senator John Boozman's office, those medals are for his "gallantry and heroism" after he risked his own life during the Marne Campaign in France.

Jeffery's father, Howard Jeffery, was awarded the Air Medal, Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.

Howard served more than 20 years in the Armed Forces in the medical and aero medical field.

Donald says his father was astonished when he called him and told him about the medals. "He was surprised and impressed. He had a 10th grade education and accomplished all of this. It shocked him."

"I'm very proud of what he has and done and what he has accomplished." Jeffery said.

Jeffery says we need more ceremonies to honor our vets. "They are heroes. Every veteran deserves our respect. If you see a veteran or know a veteran, tell them." Jeffery said after the ceremony.

He says he encourages everyone to dig into their family history, because you never know what you'll find.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.