Veteran Honored Decades After Service

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MIFFLINBURG -- About 70 years after Richard Strausser defended our country's freedom in World War II, he finally received recognition.

The 92-year-old veteran accepted seven medals for his service at the American Legion in Mifflinburg.

"I didn't expect anything like this or I would have said just send them to me.  But I appreciate it, don't misunderstand me, I appreciate it," said Strausser.

The Union County vet lost several medals in a house fire a short time after the war. But he never received others he earned after being discharged.

That's where Congressman Marino's office stepped into help.

"It's a privilege and an honor for us to do that for the veterans," said Representative Tom Marino, (R) 10th Congressional District.

Mr. Strausser says he was proud to accept his medals at the American Legion, but this ceremony also brought back a lot of bittersweet memories.

"I guess I'm a softie or something, I just can't really talk about it too much.  I fill up," said Strausser.

Strausser fought back tears as Congressman Marino handed him his medals, including the bronze star. He said he couldn't help but think of his battle buddies who never made it back.

"The men and boys that didn't make it back. They deserve this country to be the kind of country it was when they left it," said Strausser.

"He deserves these medals and the country should have ensured that he got them when he was on active duty or shortly after discharge," said Thomas Downs, commander of the American Legion Post 410.

Strausser plans to share his medals with his family, something that should have been done decades ago.