Mother who lost son in Vietnam gets his medals 40 years later

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two Julys, more than 40 years apart. And two very different deliveries for Betty Cummins.

"We saw the jeep pull up in front of the house There was a couple of officers that came in. one was a captain and they told us about Steve," she said.

Her son, a medic, was killed on a battlefield in Vietnam while trying to save fallen comrades 44 years ago this month.


"Everybody loved him. He was a good boy, but I guess the lord was ready for him because he took him," she said.

A hero whose legacy was incomplete, until Alabama man, Terrel Wheeles, made an unlikely find in a storage unit he bought at an auction.


Wheeles found more than a dozen medals in all, including a silver star awarded to Sgt. Steven Cummins.

"All I'd like to do is get them back to the family, he said.

But that proved to be very difficult.

After more than a year of trying, and with the help of our sister station WSFA in Alabama, Wheeles tracked down Sgt. Cummins' mother and sister here in Kansas City.

This Independence Day marked another unforgettable delivery for Betty Cummins.

"It's so surreal. It's been over 40 years," she said, "I'm glad that we've got them now and it means the world to us."

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