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Lost Nation family donates Army medals to American Legion on Memorial Day

LOST NATION, Iowa - Inside the American Legion Hall in Lost Nation, dozens of people spent the morning remembering and honoring the community's veterans on May 27.

In attendance, members of the Gilroy family. They're ready to share a piece of their family's legacy.

Today, they're donating a case full of army medals and photos of Staff Sgt. Robert P. Gilroy.

"This reminds generations to come what veterans have sacrificed for our freedoms in our country today," said Kathy Gilroy, the veteran's daughter.

Staff Sgt. Robert P. Gilroy passed away at home in 1998. However, his family says it is what happened before his death that scarred him forever.

Gilroy served in World War II. His plane was shot down on his 13th mission over Germany and was a prisoner-of-war for seven months.

"As his plane caught fire and exploded air, he was the last one to bail out," said his daughter.

She says when her father finally returned home, he was never the same.

"My dad never got over it and never received treatment for his PTSD. He also never received these medals. I obtained them after his death," said Kathy.

Kathy worked with a congressman to recover Robert's Army medals. When she recovered them in 2005, she didn't know what to do with them.

So, she and her family donated them to The American Legion of Lost Nation on Memorial Day in 2019.

It's a donation that will inspire generations to come.

"Almost every holiday we speak about him and about the sacrifice he made," said James Larson, the grandson of Staff Sgt. Gilroy.

And as the nation celebrates Memorial Day, this family and so many others continue to mourn.

"Its great that some people to get school off, they get to have those BBQ's, but they get to have those BBQ's because of the sacrifices that service members have made," said Larson.

A memorial that will last for generations as the Gilroy family of Lost Nation makes sure that our nation's heroes are never forgotten.

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