World War II soldier Albert J. Kidwell stormed the beaches of Normandy and endured the grueling Battle of the Bulge. But until recently, no one in Kidwell's family knew of his heroic past.
Kidwell died in 1991 and took his World War II stories with him. Two decades later, an innocent inquiry from Kidwell's great-grandson Collin Sullivan was the beginning of a grand family discovery, one that has led to his family receiving medals and decorations Kidwell earned and rightfully deserved.
Note: I’m glad that numerous WWII vets are finally getting medals and accolades that they earned in the war, but I am somewhat annoyed that most of the news articles about these vets either imply or blatantly state that these honors and accolades have for various (nearly always unstated) reasons been purposely withheld from the vet or his family by our secretive (and stingy) federal government.
This contention is generally pure balderdash. The National Personnel Records Center has always been there to help 20th century veterans access their records. It may be that memories are too painful, and the veteran has purposely not wanted to think about his war service; it may be that the veteran who until recently merely felt that he had “done his duty” now realizes that time is truly running out; or it may be that necessary records were destroyed in the 1973 fire—regardless, it was not government conspiracy that separated that hero from his medals, it was merely a failure to request them…