World War II Veteran Hospice Patient receives medals


On Wednesday, after all these years, a World War II Veteran Hospice Patient finally received his medals.

Franklin Harris is a 95-year-old native of Preston County that served our country in World War II. The staff at WV Caring took it upon themselves to return the medals that he earned so many years ago. 

“This is one of the things that we here at West Virginia Caring love to do for our patients. We like to provide them with those last wishes and memories before they pass,” said Tina Smell, Clinical Supervisor with WV Caring. 

“It’s overwhelming just the emotion to be able to present somebody who served our country, and to maintain our freedom. To be able to present him with something that he has wanted for years and he came home and didn’t have his medals with him. So it’s just an honor and a privilege to be able to do this for him,” said Penny Fletcher, social worker for Harris.

A celebration was held with the staff and his family. Harris received his World War II victory Medal, and his three battle stars from serving in Germany, France and Normandy. 

“It’s…I’m going to cry, but this is why I’ve done this for 25 years, to meet the needs and the dreams of these patients. This is a wonderful man. He says he is ornery, and he is, and that’s why we love him. But, he fought for our country, and we wanted him to be recognized because it broke his heart that nobody recognized him when he came home,” said Smell. 

“It Means a lot, it means a lot,” said Harris. 

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