Eastbourne veteran ‘ecstatic’ as stolen army medals returned

John Parker celebrates finding the medals with his fiancee Emma Strzelecki
John Parker celebrates finding the medals with his fiancee Emma Strzelecki

An Eastbourne veteran whose precious army medals were stolen is over the moon they have been returned to him.

John Parker, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was devastated when four medals went missing from his car on April 6.

John Parker never thought he'd see his medals again

John Parker never thought he'd see his medals again

The dad of four, who suffers PTSD, had been on his way to get them mounted.

But his fiancée Emma Strzelecki said on Tuesday night (May 21) John walked into their home in floods of tears.

She said, “I didn’t realise what he had. He said ‘my medals my medals!’ It’s made his year.

“The person probably didn’t think... It’s a mystery but we don’t mind. He’s got them back, that’s what he wanted.”

John Parker's medals have now been returned to him SUS-190522-094041001

John Parker's medals have now been returned to him SUS-190522-094041001

John had found them in an envelope outside their flat in Sovereign Harbour with their address on it.

“He’s so happy. We have had a couple of theories on it but we are just so glad we have got them back,” Emma said.

The Herald initially published a story when the medals – for Operation Telic (Iraq), Operation Herrick (Afghanistan), International Security Aid Force (ISAF), and the Queen’s Jubilee – went missing: Eastbourne veteran devastated after army medals stolen

Emma said, “We have had such lovely messages and support from people. The Eastbourne Rugby Club he used to play for invited him over, they said we’re all a family. Medal collectors have been in touch to say they would watch out for them.

“I think they got too hot to touch. I think the article prompted someone’s conscience.”

She said, “There’s no words to describe how happy he is, he’s ecstatic. He never thought he was going to see them again.

“He’s going to be wearing them with pride.”