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Family wants veteran’s stolen medals returned

February 4, 2018

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Relatives of a Vietnam War veteran want back a piece of the man’s legacy stolen from a storage unit in Kansas.

The family of Charles “Chuck” David Sankey is offering a $12,000 reward to anyone with information that leads them to the Silver Star, Purple Heart and four Bronze Stars stolen from Hutchinson Self Storage, the Hutchinson News reported .

Sankey, 73, died Jan. 25 in Wichita of complications caused by a wartime chemical called Agent Orange. Sankey knew he was dying and wanted to put most of his belongings in the storage unit in November, said Bruce Sankey, the veteran’s brother.

But when the family went to clean out the unit, all they found was a lamp and a photo. Bruce said the unit showed no signed of a break-in.

The facility has cameras and officers are “following up on different leads,” said Travis Lahann, detective with the Hutchinson Police Department.

Sen. Pat Roberts’ office called the U.S. Department of Defense to get the family a new Silver Star, said Bruce. But that’s not the same as the one 1st Lt. Chuck Sankey received for holding the line April 1, 1969, despite being shot multiple times by the Viet Cong in the Gia Dinh Province.

“In spite of his wounds, Lieutenant Sankey remained in an exposed position and directed light fire team fire, medevacs and ammunition resupply until contact was broken,” said the official report of the attack. “Lieutenant Sankey’s valiant actions inspired the Vietnamese soldiers whom he accompanied and encouraged them to fight against overwhelming odds.”

Bruce said his brother came back with nearly 30 holes in his body from that day.

“He was a natural-born leader,” he said.

Sankey is survived by his wife, brother, children and grandson.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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