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WWII veteran honored

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Army Lt. Col. Jason D. Hallock, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion Commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Naamon J. Grimmett, present Gilberto R. Torres, a World War II veteran, with a shadowbox of Torres’ decorations during a ceremony here July 2. During his time in service, Torres earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Honorable Service Lapel. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Army Lt. Col. Jason D. Hallock, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion Commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Naamon J. Grimmett, present Gilberto R. Torres, a World War II veteran, with a shadowbox of Torres’ decorations during a ceremony here July 2. During his time in service, Torres earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Honorable Service Lapel. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District of Texas, presents Gilberto R. Torres, World War II veteran, with a U.S. flag that flew over the Capital May 17, during a ceremony here July 2. The flag flew in honor of Torres’ service in France during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District of Texas, presents Gilberto R. Torres, World War II veteran, with a U.S. flag that flew over the Capital May 17, during a ceremony here July 2. The flag flew in honor of Torres’ service in France during World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District of Texas, and Army 344th Military Intelligence Battalion leadership presented a World War II veteran with a folded flag and shadowbox at Kenny Blanek's Village Café here July 2.

Earlier this year, former Army Cpl. Gilberto R. Torres, 83rd Infantry Division rifleman, returned home to find that someone stole the decorations he earned during the World War II.

When a local group of retirees and veterans heard of the theft retired Tech. Sgt. Bruce I. Foreman spearheaded the initiative to create a shadow box to replace the decorations.

"We all felt this was the right thing to do for one of our veterans," said Foreman. "We know how we would feel if we lost our awards and decorations."

Since Torres was a Soldier, retired Chief Master Sgt. Ronald G. Graham, 316th Training Squadron training development manager and instructor, invited Army leadership from Goodfellow Air Force Base to make the presentation.

"This is an extreme honor," said Lt. Col. Jason D. Hallock, 344th MI BN Commander. "I can't imagine a greater honor than bestowing these awards upon such a heroic American who fought almost 70 years ago to the day in Normandy, France."

In recognition of Torres' service in France, Conway presented Torres with a flag flown over the Capital.

Torres expressed his gratitude at the end of the ceremony by thanking everyone involved in the process.

During his time in service, Torres earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Honorable Service Lapel.