A 94-year-old World War II veteran received his medals after almost 70 years of waiting for them.
Jesse Hughes, an Orlando resident who worked as a park ranger in Miami for 35 years, received several medals from the United States Army Saturday in Jacksonville.
Hughes, who was eligible for many Army awards including a Prisoner of War medal, never received all of the decorations he earned in the war.
The veteran joined the Army in 1941 and fought on D-Day as part of Operation Fortitude. He was assigned to the 73rd Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Armored Division as a radio operator.
On Dec. 18, 1944, Hughes was captured during the Battle of the Bulge, and was not released until April 1945. He returned to Miami after receiving an honorable discharge.
Hughes received a POW medal, an Army Good Conduct medal, an American Campaign medal, a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with three bronze stars, a World War II Victory medal and an honorable service lapel button at Saturday's service.
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