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Family Honors WWII Veteran After Finding 8 Medals

It's a story that started decades ago, and hasn't been told since WWII, until now.
It's a story that started decades ago, and hasn't been told since WWII, until now.

Wichita Falls resident Mike Rucker's father passed away in November and what his family found out about the legacy he left behind surprised them.

Mike Rucker was hoping to honor his dad, Edward Rucker's, military past before he died, but never got the chance, so after he passed he started gathering what he could to honor his life.

What he found were 7 medals, medals his dad never mentioned he earned.

Rucker knew his father received The Purple Heart for being shot in the neck but he was surprised to find the other seven including a Bronze Star.

Saturday his family traveled to Kansas to surprise his mother with the medals and a flag that flew over the capital building in his fathers honor.

Getting the medals and flag together was a group effort, Rucker received help from Congressman Mac Thornberry and Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo who presented the medals to his mother Saturday.

“He didn't brag, you know it said a lot to me to be that dad went over there, did that, didn't think anything about it, it was just part of his life back then and that's why they say the greatest generations dying, because that's really how those guys were,” says Rucker.

It's that humility that kept his family from knowing what a hero Edward Rucker was, after he passed away his family got a really look at his military history through the medals he won and the bullet that was removed from his neck after cremation, a bullet he carried around for decades, reinforcing that he was the kind of man who deserved to be honored.

“Never complained, never and too see a bullet there and all of the calcium that had built up around it, you know my dad was a hero to me,” says Rucker.

And he was honored for being a hero Saturday as Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo brought all 8 medals to Mike's mom.

“Stayed at my mothers house about an hour and a half, explained every medal as he gave them to her and of course did the flag last on behalf of a grateful country and two congressman and gave him the flag, it's pretty cool,” says Rucker.

It's that love of country, Rucker hopes his grand kids take away from getting to know more about their great grandfathers legacy.

“I think I have a lot more respect for servicemen and people who are that are doing that for us,” says Alexis Rucker.

“You really don't think about how much they risk for us unless it's personal, when somebody dies in your family that served our country, it just brings back memories,” says Jordan Rucker.

Memories of a man that never talked about his service but passed on a story worth telling.
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