Ninety-seven-year-old Gerald Teldon was in Chabad of San Antonio for his great grandson’s bar mitzvah when Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Stein surprised the World War II fighter pilot with a medal ceremony.
After joining the Army Air Corps at age eighteen, Lt. Teldon flew sixty-two missions over Italy and the Balkans in a P-47 Thunderbolt. At the ceremony last Friday, twenty five of his descendants were on hand while five grandchildren and the bar mitzvah boy pinned six new decorations to his jacket.
Ahead of Lt. Teldon’s ninety-eighth birthday, 106th Brigade Chaplain Mendy Stern at Joint Base San Antonio helped expedite the process, and make sure the ceremony took place.
“I got emotional feeling the historical impact of my grandfather’s service,” Rabbi Levi Teldon said. “It reminded me of my gratitude for the freedoms the United States affords, especially as a practicing Jewish person.”