Chester, Ill. WWII veteran receives Distinguished Flying Cross - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Chester, Ill. WWII veteran receives Distinguished Flying Cross

Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS

A WWII veteran received high honors Saturday afternoon for services rendered more than 70 years before.

 94-year-old Robert Neil served in World War II and the Korean War.

Neil was presented with several distinguished service awards at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Chester, Illinois.

“I’m just happy that he finally got acknowledged for what he did. He never really talked about it” John Neil Sr., Neil's son, said on Saturday.

Neil currently suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and says notice of the awards took the whole family by surprise.

“Now we finally realize how involved he was.” Neil said.

One of the medals presented was the “Distinguished Flying Cross”, which organizers say is the second highest honor in the U.S. armed service.

“[being here] is more than inspiring, it’s an honor,” co-organizer Richard Harrington said. “All of us down here served in some type of conflict in one time or another, so to see a man from WWII receive medals that he earned so long ago was just a true honor for all of us.”

 Robertson said Neil was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, which was the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force.

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