A war hero from Virginia was surprised Friday with an honor that brought him to tears just days ahead of his 84th birthday.
Last year, Thomas and Lisa Faleskie were on vacation when burglars tore through their home and robbed their safe, stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of property.
“Jewelry and all of his medals,” Lisa Faleskie said.
Lt. Col. Faleskie flew combat missions for the Navy in Vietnam, earning medals for heroism. That caught a detective’s attention.
“Once he found out Tom was a Marine then that was the end of that,” Lisa Faleskie said.
“He didn’t just land safely, complete his mission and leave,” said Detective F. Corona of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, who is a retired Marine. “He stayed there, under fire, until all his Marines were lifted off and that, that is a great American.”
Corona caught the burglars but couldn’t find Faleskie’s stolen medals, so on his own time, using his own money, the detective replaced them.
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“It brings me to the verge of tears to know that I had this much support from the community and some good friends,” Thomas Faleskie said Friday when he received his medals at the sheriff’s office.
“I’m still in a state of shock because I never expected this,” he said.
Faleskie said he had no idea the surprise was coming and he is incredibly grateful.