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Utah family disheartened after WWII medallion stolen from veteran father’s grave

Posted at 10:12 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 16:15:45-04

UPDATE (Monday, May 4): The medallion has been returned and has been reattached to Glen Wallace's headstone — Roy City contacted Peggy Poll, and they believe whoever took it brought it back and dropped it in the cemetery.

Original story:

ROY, Utah – A Roy family is heartbroken and hoping for answers after their late father’s World War II medallion was removed from his grave.

“Glen Lewis Wallace, he was born March 3, 1921 and he passed away April 26 of 2013,” said Peggy Poll as she read her father’s headstone aloud. “[He was] 92, he lived a long life.”

Peggy has been coming to this spot to look back on her time with her father and pay her respects for the last seven years.

“He said the word ‘hero’ was used way too much nowadays,” Peggy said, as she stood in-front of his grave. “I consider him a hero, but not just for World War II, for the life he lived.”

The story of her father’s life was one of integrity, honor and service.

“He was a veteran, he served in World War II,” said Peggy. “That’s what he was, he loved the country, and he was very patriotic.”

Peggy’s father earned a purple heart after losing his leg in the war – he wore a prosthetic, which started at the base of the knee.

“He said when the other soldiers came by, they said, ‘that one’s dead,’ and he said, ‘No, I’m not!’” Peggy laughed as she retold the story she had heard many times in her life.

In his honor, the family had their father’s copper World War II medallion installed on his grave marker.

“Our dad lived that and he came home from it, and he had more kids, and he worked hard,” she continued. “It reminded us of our dad, of what he sacrificed.”

Peggy said her father bore a scar from his injury for 68-years. Now, seven years after his death, his headstone dons another one.

“My sister sent me a picture… [She] said, ‘look someone has taken it off,” said Peggy. “I couldn’t believe it, it was just crazy and it made me mad.”

The grave marker now blemished by a yellow stain, glue residue and two empty screw holes, where the WWII medallion once sat.

“How dare you?” said Peggy. “That’s kind of the last honor that we had.”

Peggy said the medallion had more sentimental value, than monetary value. She doesn’t know how they got it off – but, above all, she’s disappointed that it happened.

“It’s just, it’s a personal thing, all of the sudden it’s like… What? Really? There’s people that will do that?” she said. “How many things do you have to disrespect to do something like that?”

Disheartened and upset, Peggy knows they may never see the medallion again. But, she knows her father will always be close to her heart.

“I’m linked to him, he’s linked to me,” she said as she clinched the dog tags hanging from her neck.

“Maybe I can have some of that, ‘get it done, just do it, get through it,’ [attitude].”

Peggy said she plans on filing a report with Roy City Police, so anyone with information can contact them.