By: Sharon Aron Baron
Congressman Ted Deutch honored several citizens at his Town Hall meeting including those that found and returned a Vietnam Veteran’s medals to their rightful owner.
Congressional Recognition was given after we published our story about Meghan Burns and Jeremy Teitler who found medals, photos, awards and documents in their attic belonging to Private First Class Geoffrey Douglas Radcliffe Saunders while moving out of their home. At first he believed the items belonged to someone in Meghan’s family, but soon they discovered they were obviously left by someone who lived there prior to them. They looked further and found a whole box of family photo albums belonging to Saunders’ mother. They took the items to their new home and started investigating.
Private First Class Saunders was mortally wounded by fire from a North Vietnamese machine gun on April 26, 1968 at the age of 19. Burns looked online and couldn’t find any information on the family, so she turned to Coral Springs Talk to get the story out to the community.
The article caught the eye of Congressman Ted Deutch who got involved and tried to find the family through the National Personnel Records.
Fortunately, Saunders’ second cousin Bernadette Flanagan was working on their family tree when her cousin Kathleen Stock saw our stories from Maryland and contacted Saunders’ sister. “I had met Geoffrey, but not his sister, so my cousin found her and contacted her regarding the items,” said Flanagan.
We got them in touch with one another and a meeting was set up where Burns and Teitler were able to give Stosik back her brother’s items, as well as many family photo albums.
“It’s amazing they discovered them, and they deserve great credit for realizing how important they were and to make sure they went to the family in which they belonged, ” said the Congressman on Wednesday night.