It has been more than 60 years since they served the United States in uniform, but on Tuesday two Korean War veterans were honored for their service and sacrifice.
Frank Ruggiero, 83 of Suffield, served in the U.S. Navy going on three separate tours, 30 days a piece on Korean waters.
James Raynor, 84 of Enfield, served in the U.S. Army and spent 14 months fighting on land.
"I was just doing it like everyone else...do your part,” Ruggiero said.
"There is an obligation on your part to give something back. If your country needs you, it is terribly important that you must serve its needs,” Raynor said.
On Tuesday, the pair was awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal, which is an expression of appreciation from the Korean Government for U.S. veterans who served in United Nations peacekeeping missions during the war.
"First of all, I never expected it,” Ruggiero said. "I'm thrilled."
"They never forgot. They never did. And to me that means a great deal,” Raynor said.
Proudly wearing the medals of honor around their necks, the two war heroes remain ever grateful and ever humble, despite risking it all for freedom.
Anyone who knows a Korean War veteran who deserves to be nominated for the award should call Congressman Joe Courtney’s office.
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