Burglar takes military medals from widow of war hero


Verlon Johnson was awarded these medals from the U.S. government for his service in the conflicts overseas in Vietnam and Korea. After losing the medals in Hurricane Ivan, Verlon reclaimed them this past July. The parachutist medals, still in their packaging, went missing in the Dec. 16 burglary.

Molly Mosher | The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 05:06 PM.

When Maureen Johnson left for church Dec. 16, she had no idea she would be the victim of a crime upon her return. 

Upon realizing her bedroom door was locked and the home was in somewhat of a disarray, Maureen called the Sheriff's Office. Upon seeing the scene once the deputy got the locked door open, Maureen speculates the intruder must have known what he or she was doing.

"They knew where to look: they didn't open any of the drawers," said Maureen.

The scene included an open window, a mess, and many valuables missing.

"All of my jewelry boxes were thrown about. My bedroom was upside down," she said, adding that the most disappointing loss was that of some of her late husband's military medals.

U.S. Special Forces Green Beret parachutist Verlon Johnson, who was the subject of The Sun's Veterans Day profile, had initially lost his medals in Hurricane Ivan, as the couple's close-to-the-water home was flooded. The U.S. government replaced the medals shortly before Verlon died in October.

Of the 10 medals Verlon reclaimed, the burglars took "one medal and two parachutes," according to the victim. They also took a bar of pure silver which Maureen acquired while working in Saudi Arabia as a radiation therapist. The bar had sentimental value to Maureen, as well, as it was in Saudi Arabia that she met her future husband.

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