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Mesquite WWII Vet Honored With Overdue Grave Marker

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MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – The family of a Mesquite veteran wants his grave to bear an American flag.

It’s been overlooked for 14 years by those who place the flags on veterans graves because he didn’t have the proper marker.

Now, he is finally receiving the honor long overdue.

Paul Branton died in 1998 and is buried at the Mesquite Cemetery.

He served in WW II and the Korean war, yet his grave bears no flag. The graves of all the other veterans do.

Branton was Debbie Fivecoat’s step-father and the only father she ever knew.

“He could’ve been killed when he was serving,” she said suddenly filled with emotion.

Fivecoat asked the military for his records and found out, he was due at least six medals for having served eleven years in two wars.

His family says, he just never talked about it.

Cecil Blackborn, Branton’s step-son, said, ” I was shocked actually. He never bragged about it. Never even mentioned it.”

The medals are yet to come.  What the family did receive was that military footstone.

It was presented during a military ceremony Friday, complete with 21 gun salute and an American flag.

A military footstone means that after 14 years, Paul Branton will be properly recognized as having served.

Branton’s grave will have a little flag soon like his father’s grave next to his. Trumer Branton served in WW I.

Branton’s widow, Retha, will now have peace.  “The flag means America to me. It means freedom, defending our country. He was a soldier that did that,” she said.

He was a soldier who deserves that.

Branton’s personal military records were destroyed in a fire.  His family is in the process of filling out the military paperwork for his medals.

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