WWII Vet Finally Receives Long-Overdue Medals - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

WWII Vet Finally Receives Long-Overdue Medals

Posted: Updated:
BROOKHAVEN, Pa. -

A local World War II veteran is giving new meaning to the phrase, "It's never too late."  He's waited more than 60 years for the medals he earned in combat, fighting off the Germans.  Friday afternoon, he finally received them.

John Warhola did already have two medals for his service in World War II, the good conduct medal and the Purple Heart.  He's proud of those awards but not quite satisfied, because he was supposed to receive even more medals.

"Oh yes, there were eight altogether."

Warhola says he's been waiting for them for decades.

"Oh I'd say since about 1950," Warhola insisted.

That's the same year he married his wife -- 63 years ago.

"I tell you it's a long time," Warhola told Fox 29.  "And I'll be proud to get them, if they give them to me."

We asked the veteran if it wasn't too late.

"It's not too late, not for me," Warhola answered.  "It's never too late."

Warhola was only a teenager when he saw his best friend die in combat.  And he himself took a bullet from a sniper.

"It was like a train hit me very hard, or like a bus," Warhola explained.  "I flew up in the air and came down on all fours."

So those missing medals mean something to him.

"I thought I deserved them," Warhola said.  "I fought for what I thought was the right thing to do at time."

Jennifer Bail, Warhola's granddaughter, decided to take action late last year, and discovered her grandfather wasn't the only veteran owed medals.

"The lady I spoke with at the VFW said a lot of the soldiers slipped through the cracks, their paperwork," she said.

Bail wasn't going to let that injustice stand, so she contacted Congressman Bob Brady.  A couple of weeks ago, all the missing medals arrived.

"I was so excited," Bail said. "But I was like, I can't just give them to him."

So Bail decided to surprise her grandfather. She told him they had to travel to a VFW convention to get them.

"He thinks he's just going to sign for them," Bail explained.  "He's actually being presented in front of the convention by one of the brigadier generals."

On Friday afternoon, 87-year-old John Warhola finally received his medals, before it became too late.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Cyber Terrorists Hack Some Of The Nation's Biggest Banks

    Cyber Terrorists Hack Some Of The Nation's Biggest Banks

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:48:01 GMT

    A huge data breach is affecting five major banks. Federal officials say they were hacked by cyber terrorists. What exactly happened? And can we protect ourselves or prevent it?

    A huge data breach is affecting five major banks. Federal officials say they were hacked by cyber terrorists. What exactly happened? And can we protect ourselves or prevent it?


  • Security Ramping Up For 'Made In America' Festival

    Security Ramping Up For 'Made In America' Festival

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:33:35 GMT

    Philadelphia is gearing up for the big Labor Day weekend "Made in America" concert on the parkway. Find out what you need to know if you are planning on attending, and what you should not bother to bring.

    Philadelphia is gearing up for the big Labor Day weekend "Made in America" concert on the parkway. Find out what you need to know if you are planning on attending, and what you should not bother to bring.

  • Woman Hit By 2 Cars In Logan, Neither Vehicle Stops, Police Say

    Woman Hit By 2 Cars In Logan, Neither Vehicle Stops, Police Say

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:13 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:13:57 GMT

    A 50-year-old woman is in critical condition after being hit by two cars in Philadelphia's Logan section.

    A 50-year-old woman is in critical condition after being hit by two cars in Philadelphia's Logan section.

Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices