Sen. Murkowski awards veteran with medals decades after WW II

Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 9:07 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - During a special visit to the nation’s capitol, a WW II veteran not only had a chance to meet members of Alaska’s delegation, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski also awarded him with medals and pins from his service many decades ago.

As part of the Last Frontier Honor Flight program, veterans in Alaska are able to visit the monuments and museums dedicated to their service and the sacrifices made by those they served with. Few, however, are faced with an awards ceremony during their visit.

On one of the latest honor flights, a veteran of the second world war was given an opportunity to visit the WW II Memorial among many other landmarks. What he was unaware of was he would finally be recognized for his service with some long overdue honors.

During his visit in Washington D.C., 97-year-old, Harry Olivas of Wasilla was met by Sen. Murkowski to receive several campaign medals for his service against the Axis Powers in the 1940s. Mr. Olivas served in four campaigns during the war spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Sen. Murkowski awarded Olivas with four medals and two pins during an impromptu ceremony which was attended by the 20 other Alaska based veterans that travelled with Olivas, as well as Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Mr. Olivas was honored with the American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Pin and Navy Honorable Discharge Pin.