EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Sergeant First Class Leo Reich was awarded a Bronze Star Medal at a ceremony at VFW Post #2078 on Sunday.
The Korean War Veteran was awarded the Bronze Star in 1962, but wasn’t formally presented his medal until now.
The VFW Post #2078 surprised Reich, letting him know just days before that they were honoring him.
Cyndy Jefford, the bar manager for the post, says this was a way to let Reich know his country and his East Peoria community appreciate and thank him.
“Well he knew that he deserved it, but nobody recognized it. And we felt that that was a travesty, to have a veteran that did not receive the medal that he deserved,” Jefford said.
The celebration was followed by a cookout to raise money for the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.