Medal for WWI soldier restored, presented to daughter

Posted November 11, 2009 11:12 p.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2009 11:15 p.m. EST

— A medal for a World War I soldier from North Carolina was restored and presented Wednesday to the veteran's daughter in Lillington.

“In 1917, the state of North Carolina created a limited amount of medals to honor its World War I veterans. When I found the unique medal, I was excited to see it, but it was in pretty bad shape,” John Elskamp, a volunteer with North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge, said in a statement.  “The medal said ‘Manufactured by The Robbins Company’ on the back. I did some digging and was glad to discover the company is still in business.”

Elskamp contacted TharpeRobbins and the company agreed to refurbish the medal free of charge.

During the ceremony Wednesday, the World War I medal, and several others, including a Purple Heart, were presented to 86-year-old Mary Evelyn Stephenson, the daughter of veteran Robert Haywood Butler, who served in the North Carolina 30th Infantry Division, 119th Regiment during World War I.

The North Carolina Adjutant General officially presented the medals to Stephenson during the Veterans Day ceremony.

The family of a World War II veteran who participated in the Battle of the Bulge also received additional medals found by Elskamp during the ceremony.