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Vet's stolen Legion of Honor quickly replaced

May 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

PITTSBURGH, May 28 (UPI) -- The French honorary consul in Pittsburgh worked quickly to obtain a Legion of Honor to present to a World War II veteran after his home was burglarized.

The medal was in Jean-Dominique Le Garrec's safe at his home in Squirrel Hill, Pa., the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Burglars removed the entire safe Friday.

But Albert Crawford, 88, of Coraopolis, Pa., got his medal on schedule Tuesday morning at the Veterans Breakfast Club at Robert Morris University in Moon. Le Garrec said he was able to get a replacement Monday in spite of the holiday.

"It would have been a pity to miss the event," Le Garrec said.

Crawford served on board the U.S.S. Swivel, a Navy vessel that removed debris from Normandy beaches so soldiers and supplies could get ashore during the D-Day invasion. He said the medal was for all his shipmates.

"The invasion of Normandy was the biggest operation the world had ever seen," Crawford said. "I'm not getting a medal for something I personally did. Any of my shipmates would be worthy of getting this award."

The French government will award 24 other U.S. veterans the Legion of Honor at a ceremony in Washington in June. Crawford was to have been part of the group but is now unable to travel that far.

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