FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A Florence family continues to remember their war hero, decades after World War II. And now, they feel like he has finally come home.
"Landing with his company in Iwo Jima on the 21st of February 1945, Corporal Boykin repeatedly led assaults against the enemy," Lynne Boykin reads aloud. Her uncle, Corporal Ray Boykin, gave his life fighting the war in Iwo Jima.
His final moments are captured in that letter, written to the Boykin family back in 1945.
"My uncle Billy was only 9 years old when he went to the bus station with my grandfather, that was the last time he saw Uncle Ray," remembers Ms. Boykin.
While Cpl. Ray Boykin was abroad, he was fatally wounded in Japan.
"He did receive two purple hearts, the valor medal, and various others," says Ms. Boykin.
But the family never received his war medals.
"I can imagine the day that my dad came home and found out my Uncle Ray didn't make it," says Ms. Boykin.
With only one surviving brother, Lynne wanted the family to finally have her uncle's medals. She said it is a way to remember and honor the man who gave his life for his country.
Ms. Boykin began writing letters to the U.S. Naval Service, asking for the medals.
"Now, more than 60 years later, we finally have those medals in hand. So, this is the perfect ending to our story," says Ms. Boykin.
The family just received Cpl. Boykin's medals, and Ms. Boykin decided to surprise Cpl. Boykin's surviving brother, Billy, with the gift.
"We said, 'we have a surprise for you.' And we presented him with the medals. He just looked at me and said 'you'll never know what this means to me.'"
Lynne Boykin never had the chance to meet her Uncle Ray, but is inspired by what he gave for our country, for her family. She says, even today, it feels like he is still with them.
"Just having these in your hands, you can say now that everything is complete," says Ms. Boykin about the medals.
It's a memory they can now hold in their hands, and the Boykin family is very grateful for finally receiving the war medals of Cpl. Ray Boykin.
"What he gave for our country, for us, even today, years later we still feel like he's with us," says Ms. Boykin.
She smiles every time she drives by the National Cemetery, knowing her uncle died a hero.
"When you go into the National Cemetery and you see how many people, and how quickly its filling up now...but, its just such an honor," says Ms. Boykin.
Just last year, the family was able to celebrate Cpl. Boykin at the cemetery, after he finally had a finished head stone.
"We appreciate everything that these men and women do in the military, and we need to keep this alive," says Ms. Boykin.
It has been a long journey for Cpl. Ray Boykin to be completely laid to rest. His family says receiving his medals was one last step in bringing him home to them.
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:48:56 GMT
Augusta is a hot spot this weekend as holiday travelers pass by the Georgia—South Carolina border. For many, that means traffic and it also means more law enforcement on the road. Georgia state troopersMore >>
Georgia state troopers have increased patrols during the holiday weekend and will have a few checkpoints throughout the CSRA.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-26 01:09:50 GMT
One teen is dead after a fatal car accident in Aiken County this morning The Aiken County Coroner's Office confirmed Ricky Marquez, 19, died after the car he was riding in left the roadway and struck severalMore >>
An Aiken County teen is dead after severe head injuries from a fatal car accident this morning. More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:31 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:31:35 GMT
Oklahoma natives are raising money to help tornado victims who are now forced to rebuild their town after an EF-5 twister ripped through Moore, Oklahoma last Monday. "Every little bit helps," said ValliMore >>
Oklahoma natives are raising money to help tornado victims who are now forced to rebuild their town after an EF-5 twister ripped through Moore, Oklahoma last Monday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:51:03 GMT
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard."Situations like this where there is a healthMore >>
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:45:01 GMT
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts. They say they voted against changing the membership standards because 85% of the 2,700 constituentsMore >>
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:45:32 GMT
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated. "The Augusta Commission in a meetingMore >>
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:53:19 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:54:11 GMT
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.Robert Donald Holden, Jr, of Hephzibah, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 3500 blockMore >>
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:00:17 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:43:19 GMT
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.That's off of Deans Bridge Road.Residents in the area say that two people were shot and taken to the hospital.More >>
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.More >>