Vet receives replacements of stolen war medals

FRESNO, Calif.

It's a story Action News first brought you on Thursday. Action News received several calls after our story aired about Joe Torres.

Thieves ransacked the Vietnam veteran's Southeast Fresno home last week and took several items including his precious war medals.

On Sunday one local man offered to help out Torres.

Josh Valdez entered Joe Torres home with a gift Sunday. He brought medals and ribbons that are exact duplicates of the ones Torres lost in a home burglary Tuesday.

"It makes me feel great. It makes me feel great. I appreciate this from the bottom of my heart." said Torres.

Valdez's family owns a military supply store in Clovis. They were watching Action News Thursday night and decided to help Torres.

"We know the process of getting the medals back can sometimes take months to years, through the government so we figured we could just help him out." said Valdez of Tops Military Supply.

Action News was there when Torres showed Fresno police investigators the front door damage left from Tuesday's break in. Thieves ransacked the home and stole more than $5,000 worth of items including a flat screen TV, a computer, and some jewelry. But the most valuable items were his prized military medals.

The former marine and Vietnam vet admits he's been touched by the outpouring of support from the community. "They approach me in the city. Everywhere I go people ask me, people I've never met before and it makes me feel good." added Torres.

Of course the 65-year-old wishes he could get his hands on the original medals. In the end he's still hopeful the burglars will return his most prized possessions.

"God knows what's going on. I pray that someone somehow these people get touched and change their ways." said Torres.

Fresno police have not yet made an arrest in this case but tell Action News they're following up some new leads since Torres' story went public.

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