Ir­re­place­able war medals stolen

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE -

Leschenault Viet­nam vet­eran Bernie Hooper is still hop­ing an ir­re­place­able part of his fam­ily’s his­tory will be re­turned. His ser­vice medals, as well as those of his fa­ther and un­cle, were stolen when bur­glars ripped a gun safe from its con­crete base at his Leschenault home in June.

A VIET­NAM vet­eran is still hop­ing for the re­turn of his fam­ily’s his­tory af­ter his ser­vice medals as well as those of his fa­ther and un­cle were stolen from his Leschenault home.

On June 27, the gun safe in which the medals were kept was ripped from its con­crete base in the shed out­side his home.

Bernie Hooper’s Viet­nam ser­vice medals were stolen, in­clud­ing their repli­cas, along with the medals of his fa­ther James Hooper and un­cle Bert Hooper, who both served on the West­ern Front in World War I.

Mr Hooper served for six months in Viet­nam be­fore be­ing wounded in com­bat in Fe­bru­ary, 1967, near Nui Dat.

As well as the medals, jew­ellery stored in the safe was also stolen along with many of the gar­den tools in the shed.

Mr Hooper said the medals were what they re­ally missed.

“It’s such a real shame, you’d sooner raid your bank bal­ance than pawn your medals,” he said.

“They were all in there, I was very metic­u­lous.”

Among his un­cle’s medals was the Croix de Guerre, which Bert Hooper earned when act­ing as a run­ner dur­ing the bat­tle of Villers Bre­ton­neux.

Mr Hooper’s wife Wendy said their grand­son had been par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­pointed by the loss as he would wear the repli­cas when join­ing his gran­dad for dawn ser­vices.

“Our grand­son used to wear them when he started com­ing to the dawn ser­vice when he was three and he still does it now,” she said.

Mr Hooper said the medals were ir­re­place­able with only one each awarded, though he would look at get­ting new repli­cas.

“They only is­sue one ser­vice medal too, so if you lose it, stiff bikkies,” he said.

Mrs Hooper said they had con­tacted medal buy­ers in Perth with the medals’ en­graved names and se­rial num­bers.

Mr Hooper said he still hoped the bur­glars would re­turn them.

“If they can find the good­ness in their heart to give me my medals back, they’ll know who they are,” he said.

Aus­tralind po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the theft and any­one with in­for­ma­tion can con­tact them on 9797 0222.

Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

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