Family Who Lost Home in Border Fire Gets Priceless Gift

US Army Sergeant Brud Joseph Cronkrite was killed in Iraq

A local military family who lost their home to the Border Fire received a priceless gift, according to an article in County News Center.

Bill Cronkrite's son, U.S. Army Sergeant Brud Joseph Cronkrite was 22 when he died on May 13, 2004. He was on security patrol in Karbala, Iraq when a rocket-propelled grenade fired into a nearby building.

In June, the soldier's father lost his home and along with it, his son’s military medals.

The Border Fire burned more than 7,000 acres for nearly two weeks in the city of Potrero, scorching homes and outbuildings.

County News Center reported that a group of volunteers with the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization sifted through the debris for two days and found his son’s damaged medals.

The volunteers also contacted the military and had the medals replaced for the family.

According to the article, the family received a new bronze star, a Purple Heart, and a flag that had been flown over the MCAS Miramar Airwing in honor of the Cronkrite's son.

Earlier this month, Supervisor Dianne Jacob honored the volunteers with a proclamation saying they came quietly with no media.

In the meantime, the Cronkrites have asked for privacy as they work to rebuild their home.

Sgt.Cronkrite’s life of service is memorialized in his community, as the Interstate 8 bridge over Potrero is named after him. A green sign marks the bridge in his honor.

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