U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is honoring a Hartford veteran, who was robbed of his military records and decorations, on Friday morning.
Billy Pedraza served in the United States Army from 1984 to 1990. However, authorities with Blumenthal's office said "his hard-earned records and decorations were stolen from his home after his death in 2012."
Because of the stolen record, his family was did not bury Pedraza with military honors.
"On behalf of a grateful nation, please accept this flag in honor of your son," Blumenthal said during a ceremony for the veteran on Friday.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, a longtime friend of the Pedraza family, teamed up with Blumenthal to give the veteran the recognition he deserved.
"This tradition is time honored that at the time of burial that the flag is presented and I felt that this gap really had to be filled," Blumenthal said.
Family members remembered the kindness and compassion Pedraza had for others.
"He was a very fun guy he would give his shirt off his back to anybody, help anybody, he used to do mechanic work on his friends cars for free and help put everybody," Frankie Ruiz who is his brother in law, said.
During Friday's ceremony Segarra and Blumenthal highlighted Pedraza's service and how his love for his country meant so much on this patriotic holiday.
"When we give context to the Fourth of July, we celebrate independence," Segarra said. "But we also celebrate the people who make it possible for that independence."
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