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World War II vet honored with Victory Medal

| Saturday, July 13, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
ERIC SLAGLE | DAILY NEWS
Gerald Driscoll of Forward Township, second from left, received medals honoring his service in World War II on Friday at the Elizabeth War Memorial. With Driscoll are State Rep. Rick Saccone, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, Mary Ann Eisenreich from the Governor’s Southwest Regional Office and Elizabeth council president Monica Glowinski.

It was a case of better late than never for Gerald Driscoll of Forward Township on Friday.

Driscoll — who was in the Merchant Marines and is a World War II veteran — received overdue honors from his country at the War Memorial in Elizabeth.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, presented Driscoll with a World War II Victory Medal and separate medals for his service in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean zones during the war.

“Where there was water, he was there,” said Murphy, who noted that Driscoll also served in Germany after the war.

Driscoll and other Merchant Marine veterans were not recognized as veterans of the war until 1988.

Driscoll, 87, was presented a letter on Friday that all veterans had received from President Harry S. Truman, as well as an American flag.

State Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township, officials from Elizabeth borough and a representative from Gov. Tom Corbett's office also attended the brief ceremony.

“We continue to try to honor our Merchant Marines,” Saccone said.

“This is one small way to give them the recognition they deserve.”

Driscoll, president of the Mon Valley Chapter of Merchant Marine Veterans, said he appreciated the gesture, noting, “We didn't get anything after the war.”

Murphy said veterans who have yet to receive their due honors should contact their congressmen.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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