Ralph Sweitzer: Vero Beach man's relative takes Bronze Star, Purple Heart to ISS

VERO BEACH, Fla. - One Treasure Coast man had reason to cheer as the Russian Soyuz spacecraft blasted off on its way to the International Space Station on Wednesday. 

American astronaut Reid Wiseman carried his great uncle's Bronze Star and Purple Heart on mission into space.

Ralph Sweitzer, who lives in Vero Beach, received the medals during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

Sweitzer said he's excited and honored to know his medals are making the trip.

"I think it's wonderful. I'm glad I'm able to see it before I die. I'll be 95-years-old,” said Sweitzer.

"It was an honor to be asked to do that and Reid felt it was an honor to take them," said Sue Sweitzer, Ralph's wife.

Wiseman will be stationed at the ISS for six months.

The medals will be returned to his great uncle when Soyuz returns to Earth in November.

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