Friday, August 22, 2014

Veteran Finds Identity of Soldier Killed Next to Him in Philippines-- Part 5

On August 3, a ceremony was held at the Lake County Veterans Memorial at the College of Lake County in Grayslake to return the Purple Heart to Thomas Bateman's family.

It was attended by John Trinca, Zacharia Fike, Tom McAvoy, the Hettich family and members of Bateman's family, including his son, Thomas Bateman Jr. who lives in Memphis.

An overwhelmed Bateman Jr. said, "I never knew my dad, so I'm grateful for this opportunity.

Thomas Bateman, Sr. was born in 1920 and enlisted in the Army in the early 1940s, serving as an infantryman in the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.  His son was just ten-months old when his father was killed.

"I regret never having known him, but I knew he loved me and planned for my future," said Bateman Jr.

I sure wish I'd known about this ceremony beforehand as I definitely would have been there,  That is real history.

--GreGen

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