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Overdue honors

Shea-Porter presents medals to family of late Korean War vet

Union Leader Correspondent

October 31. 2013 10:09PM

Grace Brooks, widow of Corporal Robert J. Brooks, receives his KoreanWar medals Thursday from U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in Belmont. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

BELMONT — Betty Brown is aware of what her late uncle, Robert Junior Brooks, had done in fighting the Korean War.

Brooks’ wife, Grace, knew that her late husband had served his country with great honor from February 1952 to December 1953.

But Brooks and Brown didn’t know until two weeks before he died of heart failure on Sept. 15 that Cpl. Robert J. Brooks had been awarded three medals for his service — the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars and the United Nations Service Medal.

When U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter came to town Thursday to award the medals to his family, family members were most concerned that his grandchildren know of his accomplishments.

Shea-Porter spoke to those sentiments.

“This is really supposed to be a happy time,” Shea-Porter said. “We’re really saying ‘Thank you’ to him and to all other veterans, and to let them know that when they are gone, their grandchildren will have their medals.”

With several family members observing at Town Hall, Shea-Porter presented certificates and three ribbons to Grace Brooks.

“(The medals) are more than just medals; they represent a lot for the families,” she said.

Shea-Porter said that she wasn’t sure why Brooks didn’t rreceive the medals before.

“Some people just don’t bother to pick them up,” she said. “I’m not sure what happened in this case.”

Grace Brooks said, “He was pretty humble.”

“It would have been nice if he were here for this,” she said.

“I’m very sure that he is looking down and seeing this,” Shea-Porter said.

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