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Detective helps recover, replace Vietnam veteran's stolen medals

It took law enforcement more than a year to track down each medal, but now they're back with the man who earned them.
Credit: Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Faleskie stands with Detective F. Corona and a shadowbox filled with medals from Faleskie's time in the Marine Corps. The detective helped replace the awards after the were stolen last year.

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — A retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps who served in Vietnam can now proudly display all of the medals he earned. 

The medals, ribbons and pilot's wings were stolen when Thomas Faleskie's home in Spotsylvania, Virginia, was broken into back in January 2019, the local sheriff's office said.

The detective assigned to his case, F. Corona, is also a retired sergeant major with the Marine Corps. He was quickly able to identify and charge three thieves, all of whom pled guilty. But, without recovering the medals, Corona didn't feel justice was served.

Credit: Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Faleskie recieves a shadowbox filled with medals from Detective F. Corona. The detective helped replace the awards after they were stolen last year.

He was able to track down many of the stolen items at different pawn shops across town, but many of the service medals, ribbons and pilot's wings were still missing. Corona recruited his supervisor First Sergeant G. Hamilton to help him replace the remainder of the awards. 

Hamilton is also a former captain in the Marine Corps.

After contacting multiple companies, Medals of America out of South Carolina replaced the awards and put them in a shadow box. 

Ret. LTC. Faleskie's name and service dates (21 Jul. 1958 - 31 Jan. 1982) are on a plaque at the bottom.

Credit: Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office
Medals awarded to a veteran of the Marine Corps. are displaying in a shadowbox. They are: Distinguished Flying Cross w/1 Air Medal w/Numeral 37 and 2 awards for Strike Mission Combat action Ribbon; Navy Unit Commendation; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal w/1 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color w/Palm and Frame; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation. Civil Action Color (First Class); Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/device (60-); Naval Aviator Insignia

The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office presented the new medals to Faleskie during a socially distant ceremony. Members of the Jack Maas Marine Corps League detachment 1379 were also present.  

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