The Region

Former Marine Sgt. John Thomas finally got the Bronze Star and other medals he won during World War II. It was 42 years late, but Thomas, 64, a retired florist who lives in Paso Robles, received five medals and two ribbons--including the Bronze Star with combat "V" he was awarded for the Iwo Jima landing Feb. 19, 1945. "I figured I better get 'em . . . before I kick off," Thomas said. "I wrote in to find out what I was entitled to about two months ago." He said he did not receive his medals (in addition to the Bronze Star, there were the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with six battle stars, Navy Japan Occupation Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Presidential Citation and Navy Commendation ribbons) at the time because he was in a hurry to get home after the war and the services were short of clerical help.

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