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News Story
Updated: 06/18/2014 08:00:04AM

At long last, WWII veteran gets medals

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SUN PHOTO BY AL HEMINGWAY
U.S. Navy veteran George Hughes holds the medals he received for his service in World War II.

SUN PHOTO BY AL HEMINGWAY
Ten-year-old Sean Patrick Rooney hands George Hughes one of his medals as his father, Congressman Tom Rooney, reads its description.

PHOTO PROVIDED
George and Colleen Hughes on their wedding day in November 1944 prior to his going overseas.

SUN PHOTO BY AL HEMINGWAY

Art McGinnis, president of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, shakes Colleen Hughes’ hand, as her, daughter Linda Clementson, and her husband, George, look on.

By AL HEMINGWAY

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PUNTA GORDA — As a second class petty officer serving aboard the USS Bennington, one of two dozen Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II, George Hughes earned three battle stars on his Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.

Two of them were for his participation in two of the biggest amphibious assaults — Iwo Jima and Okinawa — where thousands of Americans died seizing the islands from the Japanese.

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