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WNY WWII veteran finally receives medals earned 75 years ago

Posted at 9:00 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 21:00:53-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After 75 years, a former Army Staff Sergeant has his military medals.

Staff Sergeant Carl Koeppelle served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was drafted just before his 19th birthday.

Congressman Brian Higgins presented Staff Sergeant Koeppelle with his medals Wednesday afternoon at the VFW Post 7545 in Tonawanda.

Staff Sergeant Koeppelle would have not received his medals if it weren’t for the efforts of his nephew, who reached out to Congressman Higgins.

Staff Sergeant Koeppelle’s medals include:

  • The European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 bronze service stars: awarded those who served in the European Theater during World War II. There are two bronze service stars indicating the 2 battles that Staff Sergeant Koeppelle participated in during the war;
  • World War II Victory Medal: established by Congress in 1945 and presented to those who actively served between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946;
  • Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII: awarded for service and discharge under honorable conditions;
  • Marksman Badge with Machine Gun Bar with Rifle Bar: earned by soldiers who qualify as a marksman during rifle training.

He was also presented with a flag flown over the United States Capitol.

Staff Sergeant Koeppelle will also be joining other Western New York veterans on a Warrior Flight to Washington, D.C.