Oromocto woman appeals for return of grandfathers' WWII medals stolen over Christmas

An Oromocto woman says medals awarded to both of her grandfathers during the Second World War were stolen this week.  

Tonya Chedore says it's been difficult to stay in the holiday spirit after her home about 20 kilometres southeast of Fredericton was broken into two days before Christmas. 

She and her children were visiting family in Campbellton when she got a "devastating" call from her ex-partner, who had noticed signs of a break-in, including garage furniture that was moved. 

The thief or thieves also knocked down Chedore's floodlight, broke her patio door latch and took her jewelry and a safe that contained the medals and one grandfather's discharge papers.

Submitted by Tonya Chedore

"I've been emailing the pawnshops, everybody I can think of, to say if anybody tries to get money for these medals that they're a personal heirloom," Chedore said. 

"Really, they're worthless to anybody else."

Her ex-partner call the RCMP, but Chedore said she hasn't received an update from police, likely because of the holidays. She appealed for the return of the wartime mementos.  

"Who needs discharge papers for Andrew Dunn?" she asked. "He's my family."

RCMP spokesperson Isabelle Beaulieu confirmed the RCMP received a report of a break an enter and said they're investigating but didn't provide any more details.

Chedore said she was quite young when her grandfathers died, so this is her best link to them.

But it's also a teaching tool she uses in the preschool she runs. 

Every Remembrance Day she brings in the medals to show the kids and explain their significance.

Submitted by Tonya Chedore

"I hand around all the medals and I get to talk about my grandparents and what World War II was like and how fortunate we are to have the freedoms we have now, because of people like my grandparents," she said.

"It's something to watch the kids hold the medals and realize the sacrifices that Canadians have made." 

Her grandmother's pearls and her daughter's christening jewelry were stolen as well, she said.

Chedore also lost her sense of security.

"It'll take me a while to feel comfortable in my own home," she said. 

It's left her feeling "very hollow" over the holidays. 

"I'm doing my best to smile for the kids but I've been very sad."