WWII veteran gets stolen service medals replaced


Congresswoman Judy Chu presented the awards to 87-year-old WWII Navy veteran Robert Romero at a special ceremony at her Pasadena office on Tuesday.

"I am very honored to present Walter Robert 'Buddy' Romero with his ribbons and medals for his service during WWII," said Chu.

It was a very touching moment for the veteran and his family.

"I am honored to receive my medals. I share these with veterans that did much more than I did," said Romero.

Family members say someone broke into Romero's Alhambra home 35 years ago and stole several personal items, including his medals and ribbons.

After years of trying to replace them, family members say they finally went to Chu in December and she made it happen.

"I want to tell all those veterans out there, if you are missing ribbons or medals, please contact our office because we want to make sure every veteran is recognized," said Chu.

During his tours of duty in WWII, Romero served aboard a ship that went ahead of the rest of the fleet, sweeping the ocean for underwater mines or bombs in the South Pacific Ocean. Romero gets more choked up talking about those who never made it back home from the battlefield.

"I had a very good shipmate that lost his life in Okinawa," said Romero.

Romero's wife, Henrietta, says she is very proud of her husband.

"I know he says he's not a hero, but to us he is. We are proud of all the veterans, not only in our family, but veterans everywhere," she said.

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