Seven-Decade Delay In Recognition Rectified
By Harold Hutchison
In 1942, as many as 80,000 Americans and Filipinos were forced to march 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula on the island of Luzon. One of those who survived not just that ordeal, but over three years in Japanese POW camps, was Phillip Coon.
But for seven decades, his heroism went unrecognized. That changed, thanks to help from a Vietnam veteran, David Rule, and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). On 21 October, Coon received long-overdue recognition for his service when he was presented with the Bronze Star, POW Medal, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Coon, 94, is not the only case of veterans whose service and heroism has not been recognized. "It continues to trouble me that there are instances where service members do not receive the service medals they have earned through the course of their careers," said Senator Inhofe. "But It is extremely rewarding for me and my staff to be able to help veterans and active-duty members receive the honors they have fought for."