World War II Veteran Honored Decades Later

Oct 22, 2013
Originally published on October 22, 2013 6:53 am



Some other news: in a quiet ceremony in Tulsa last night, this country delivered some long-overdue thanks. Phillip Coon received three medals for his service in World War II. Mr. Coon is 94. Like many veterans, he simply had not been issued the medals, including a Bronze Star, even though he had been entitled to them for decades.


He was in the Philippines in 1942 when American forces fought for months, but finally surrendered to Japanese troops. Coon was captured and forced to take part in the Bataan death march, a walk to prisoner of war and labor camps in which thousands of Americans and Filipinos died. As he received the medals last night, he lifted his ball cap to a small crowd of well-wishers and said he's, quote, "been blessed to come this far in life." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.