Veterans Connect with Medal of Honor Family | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Veterans Connect with Medal of Honor Family

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    Roy Hodgens was a Dallas police detective for more than 22 years, but his hardest case was one that he took on after he retired.

    Hodgens, along with several other Dallas police retirees, searched for family of First Lt. Turney Leonard.

    The group wants to replace the Medal of Honor recipient's weathered and beaten headstone at Grove Hill in Dallas, but need his family's permission.

    After a news story Thursday, calls and e-mails started coming in, and Hodgens connected with the Leonard family on Friday.

    "You know, thinking that someone else is talking about him after 60 years, it's amazing. I don't know what else to say," said Tamara Leonard Hydock, the Medal of Honor recipient's great-niece.

    Hydock and Hodgens met at the grave site Friday, and she gave the men permission to upgrade the grave site.

    "Every Medal of Honor winner, recipient is allowed to have a Medal of Honor flag flown on their grave, 24-7, 365. He doesn't have one, " said Benny Barrett Sr., a retired Marine and former Dallas police officer. "But he will now, because we've got her permission and we've got a veterans group that is going to honor it."

    With the help of veteran's groups, Hodgens hopes to get to work on the grave site soon.

    But he also said the work is not done.

    He found the grave site of two other Medal of Honor recipients buried in Dallas: Lt. Russell Steindam and Col. Neel Kearby.

    Hodgens and the men now want to track down the families of those recipients to get permission to upgrade their grave sites.