World War II Veteran Honored Decades Later

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/239534300/239297180" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

World War II veteran Phillip Coon received three medals Monday night in a quiet ceremony at Tulsa International Airport.


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."

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from