ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WECT) – Representative Mike McIntyre presented medals to a veteran who had waited 50 years to get them.
Jim Orgel joined the Air Force in 1953 and served nine years in the personal equipment section; however, there was no record of it.
On July 12, 1973, a fire destroyed the entire sixth floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States in St. Louis, Missouri.
Orgel's records along with more than 16 million other records were lost in that fire, but Orgel didn't give up trying to look for his records.
"My wife kept pushing me for it and then my daughter come along and said dad do it," Orgel said.
Orgel went back to his International Guard Unit where he first enlisted. The unit was able to help prove that he served.
Orgel received three medals and eight ribbons from his service in the Air Force, Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve on Monday, 50 years after his service.
"Any individual that serves our country deserves to be recognized and it took many years for him to get the medals he deserved to get many years ago. I am very glad that he received them," Jan Orgel said.
"There are men that died that haven't received nothing," Jim Orgel said. "It really shouldn't be, if there's anything I could do to change it I would in a heartbeat."
Orgel was happy to get the award and hopes other veterans are able to get their records and receive the recognition they deserve.
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