A happy ending for a World War II veteran Friday morning.
Three months after his Congressional medal was stolen in a home burglary, Tuskegee airman Frank Macon received shocking news overnight.
The medal, which Macon and the other 300 surviving Tuskegee airmen received four years ago, was given up for lost after it was stolen in May. Macon received a replacement in a special ceremony at the Air Force Academy last month.
At the time, Macon told 11 News, "I'm very happy my Air Force brothers are looking out after me. It'll not be the original, but the one they got for me." He thought the story ended there.
But just after midnight Friday, an observant employee at the Crosslands Economy Studios Hotel near Fountain and Chelton noticed something unusual in the lost and found.
The employee called police, who realized it was the stolen medal. Officers wasted no time returning the medal to its overjoyed owner, taking it to him in the middle of the night. Macon was so stunned--and the hour so early--that he tells 11 News he thought he was dreaming when it was handed to him.
"He came in and reached into his pocket and took out the medal. I thought I was dreaming," Macon said.
It was an unforgettable moment for Officer Ron Carter with Colorado Springs police, who got the opportunity to present the medal to its rightful owner.
"It was a very unique experience...something I'll never forget for the rest of my career," Carter said.
Police now plan to launch a full-scale investigation at the hotel.
"Ultimately, we want to find out who is responsible for this," Carter said. Both Carter and Macon agree there won't be closure to this story until the people who stole the medal are brought to justice.
The original Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the famed World War II African American pilots as a group, and is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The surviving members received a replica in a special ceremony in 2007. This is the highest honor Congress can give.
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