U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division presents long-awaited awards to WWI Veteran’s Family
By CLt. Col. Lindsey Elder
via the U.S. Army's army.mil web site
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza and Command Sgt. Maj. Quentin Fenderson, the command team of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, presented a long-awaited Purple Heart Medal and World War I Victory Medal to the granddaughter and extended family of one of their own, 103 years after he was killed in action in France.
The special ceremony took place on Aug. 9 at the 3rd Infantry Division Museum on Fort Stewart and was the culmination of the efforts of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, U.S. Army Forces Command, the 3rd Infantry Division, and the Beasley Family to properly recognize the service and sacrifice of 1st Lt. Thomas Reed Beasley, Sr.
A native of Reidsville, Georgia, Beasley was a member of Company D, 4th Infantry, 5th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces, fighting in the frontline trenches when he was killed in action on Oct. 5, 1918, in the Argonne Forrest sector. His remains were interred at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.
Kay Beasley Toups, Beasley’s granddaughter and his closest living relative, remarked that while it has been a long, team effort to have this level of recognition for their lost loved one, the Family is incredibly grateful for the ceremony and for honoring his memory in this way.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s beyond belief. It’s really a miracle it happened,” said Kay Toups. “The gratitude my Family is feeling right now is truly indescribable. We will always be eternally grateful to the 3rd Infantry Division and to the U.S. Army, who truly never forgets its own.”
Beasley was killed at the age of 22, just shy of his 23rd birthday. At the time, his then-pregnant widow received only a telegram informing the Family of his death.
More than a century later, the emotional ceremony included remarks by the division command team, Beasley’s Family members, and a presentation of the awards with the assistance of a current 3rd Infantry Division Soldier in a WWI period costume.
Read the entire article on the army.mil web site.
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