An honor 75 years in the making
July 20, 2018 05:47 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After bravely fighting for his country in World War II nearly 75 years ago, 97-year-old Dennis Ferk was finally honored Friday with the four medals he earned in the conflict.
During a ceremony at the Santa Fe Vet Center, Ferk was pinned with four medals he earned, but never claimed after the war ended.
"I didn't expect it,” Ferk said. “I don't know how many men are left from the second World War. I have no idea, but fortunately I’m one of them."
The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services learned Ferk was still owed his medals two years ago after he updated his Veteran's Affairs benefits. One of them: the prestigious Bronze Star.
"It's actually more common than we would like to admit that our World War II veterans are discharged from their service in the military without receiving all the medals that they deserve," said Major General Kenneth Nava, with the New Mexico National Guard.
Sadly, not everyone has respected Ferk's sacrifices for our country. Two years ago police arrested Ferk's two caretakers for scamming him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"If you think about what happened during World War II, it would view a totally different world if these men had not persevered and won," Nava said.
Ferk lost many friends in the war. He earned a Purple Heart after he was injured in combat, but he says he'll always be proud of fighting off the Japanese in New Guinea in the Pacific Theater.
"We were serving, of course, to protect the United States as a nation," he said.
In addition to the Bronze Star, Ferk also received an American Defense Service Medal, an American Campaign Medal and a World War II Victory Medal.
Created: July 20, 2018 05:47 PM
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