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Retiring service member fights to get medals replaced

A man from Long Island has fought in every U.S. military engagement of the last 20 years: Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

But now on the eve of his retirement, the soldier finds the recognition for those years of bravery stolen from him.

"This was my bronze star medal for service in Iraq," Jeffrey DeRosa said.

Master Sergeant Jeffrey DeRosa received his Bronze Star for his bravery in Iraq where his job was to find roadside bombs.

"This was a lifetime achievement for my contribution to the regiment as you can see it's gone," DeRosa said.

It was gone along with his Bronze Star and his Expeditionary Medal for service in Afghanistan, and another for his tour in Bosnia.

20 years of medals and decorations were stolen from his personal belongings which the Army, through a contractor, recently shipped from Germany to his home in Long Island after he retired.

"I started opening the last boxes, which is where my awards and decorations were in, I felt, like my stomach dropped. I couldn't believe it," DeRosa said.

Jeffrey DeRosa suddenly had one last battle to wage, this one against the Army he spent two decades fighting for.

To continue reading: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=8415126
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