WWI Vet Posthumously Awarded Purple Heart

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GOLDTHWAITE (January 11, 2013) A World War I veteran from Mills County was posthumous awarded a Purple Heart medal nearly 100 years after his death.

Private Virgil C. Lacey enlisted in the Army in 1914 and was killed while serving in France in 1918.

Lacey's family was notified of his death at the time but never received any of his medals earned in WWI because documents listing how he died were destroyed in a fire.

Last year, Lacey's great niece Barbara Carmon decided to find out more.

Carmon wrote a letter to U.S. Senator John Cornyn asking about her great uncle.

Cornyn replied by sending her two medals belonging to Lacey and a letter suggesting Lacey might be eligible for a purple heart.

He was.

The ceremony, nearly a century overdue, was held at the Mills County Courthouse Saturday.

Lacey's nephew, WWII veteran 86-year-old Leo Lacey accepted the purple heart.

Although Virgil C. Lacey never got married or had kids, four generations of his family stood inside the courtroom Saturday to honor his sacrifice.