Veterans honored decades after service - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans honored decades after service

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Servicemen and women give so much to their country and all too often, ask for little in return. Medals from their service is one way that families link past generations to the present and on Thursday three Iowans were honored for their sacrifice.

Arlinn Gushee, Charles Nelson, and Frank Foster all served their country, now they and their families have received what is rightfully theirs.

"They just went and fought, they just did their jobs. they didn't ask for anything, they just served their country and then they came home.  It's just so important that we recognize what they did," said Senator Tom Harkin.

Arlinn Gushee served during the Vietnam War and was severely injured.  When he was discharged he wasn't thinking about his medals.

"To be truthful when I was discharged from the military I was a pretty angry person so I just got as far away from the military as I could," said Gushee.

It was his parents who started the search for his service decorations.

"I've never talked to my family about what happened there so it brings back some memories, but I was thinking... Bad memories, but as I was thinking of this and it brings back some good memories of friends that I met over there too. It just means a lot, it's very special," said Gushee.

Charles Nelson served in the Navy during World War II.

"My wife started this before she passed away and she past away a year and a half ago and she got the family started. She wanted them to finish this," said Nelson.

For Nelson these awards are not just for him, but his entire family.

"It's nice to have them for the grandkids and great-grandkids. They'll probably be glad to see what grandpa and great-grandpa did so that's all right I guess," Nelson said.

The family of Frank Foster accepted his medals on his behalf.  Foster died in the early 1980's.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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