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An Army veteran from Worcester has finally received medals for his service during the Korean War six decades ago, thanks to efforts by his son and grandson.
John "Jack" Morrissey got his medals earlier this month during a ceremony at the Worcester County Korean War Memorial, the Telegram & Gazette reported. The 84-year-old veteran received the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Morrissey's son, David, began asking federal officials about the medals earlier this year after his son, Matthew, decided in March to interview his grandfather for a project at Auburn High School about the Korean War. David Morrissey knew for years that his father never got his medals, but he decided to do something after talking to his son about his school project.
After a few months of back and forth with the National Personnel Records Center, a branch of the National Archives, David Morrissey was told in June that his father would get his awards.
When his son and grandson told him the news, Jack Morrissey said his "head was full."
"I didn't believe it," he said.
Jack Morrissey's mother dropped him off at Union Station in 1951 as he headed to Korea. She told him to return home the way he left, and she would be waiting there when he got back.
But when he got off a boat in California in 1953 while returning home from the war, a chaplain told him his mother had died. Officials expedited his return to Worcester so he could get to the funeral, which the family believes may have played a role in his never receiving his medals.
After the Nov. 2 ceremony at the Korean War Memorial, Morrissey and his family attended lunch at Union Station, where his mother was supposed to be waiting for him after the war.
"I came home the way she wanted me to," Jack Morrissey said.
This program aired on November 10, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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