Eagle Scout surprises former POW with a special medal - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Eagle Scout surprises former POW with a special medal

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson veteran of war received a special surprise at a boy scouts eagle awards ceremony on Sunday night.

A precious item he lost while serving in Vietnam was re-gifted to him, by an eagle scout of Tucson Troop 211.

Robert Craigen was one of three boy scouts awarded with the prestigious Eagle pin.  It is considered a big honor.

"It is a huge deal.  Think about the number of boys entering scouting across the country.  For every one hundred, only four boys will get in," said Frank Youdelman, an Assistant Scout Master with Troop 211.

Craigen, who considered retired Lt. Colonel Tom Storey a mentor thought it would be special to give retired Lt. Colonel Tom Storey with a pin of his own, since he lost his while serving in Vietnam.

Storey's plane was shot down while he was on a mission.  He became a prisoner of war for more than 6 years, and was locked up inside what is known as the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."  His captors took everything he had, including his dog-tags, and his Eagle Scout pin, which he proudly wore around his neck at all times.

"Hey, this is a symbol of our country right. I was serving my country," said Storey.

It is a period in his life that Storey would rather put behind him.  He survived and came home, but he never saw that precious pin again, until Sunday night. 

Storey was visibly surprised when Craigen announced he had a "token of gratitude" for his mentor, and wanted to gift him with a pin, similar to the one Storey had received in the 1940's.

"It was such a surprise.  I think some of my buddies must have said something to him," said Storey. 

The gesture brought many boy scouts and their parents and troop leaders to tears.

Storey said, to him the badge symbolized more than honor, service, and leadership skills.

"Seeing this back where it belongs. They didn't win. I did," said Storey.

The original Eagle Scout pin that was taken from Storey is now housed in a museum at the "Hanoi Hilton" in Vietnam. 

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