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Parents of slain undercover drug agent receives national awards

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The parents of a murdered state undercover drug agent were receiving two national awards Tuesday for their son’s service.

Don and Mary Kay Balchunas were to receive the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Purple Heart, and the DEA Administrator’s Award of Valor.

The presentations were scheduled at the agency’s museum in suburban Washington.

Jay Balchunas was shot to death in October of 2004. He stopped for coffee at a Milwaukee convenience store while on duty, and was shot to death during what was later found to be a foiled robbery.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says his department has honored Balchunas every year since his death, and it’s “tremendously gratifying” to see the federal government honor him as well.

Balchunas’ name was inscribed earlier on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.