World War II veteran gets diploma and service medals for 100th birthday

Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-21 17:15:42-04

Joseph Lombardo celebrated a major milestone by turning 100 years old, but his birthday celebration turned into so much more!

Lombardo was awarded a high school diploma from East High School and eight service medals by Congressman Brian Higgins.

The Buffalo native served in WWII, completing tours in Africa, Italy and Germany after leaving the 10th grade during the Great Depression to help his family.

United States Army Corporal Joseph Lombardo received the following honors:

  • Good Conduct Medal - Awarded to an active-duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service" or for one year of faithful service during times of war.
  • American Defense Service Medal – Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 to recognize active duty service medals who served between September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941. 
  •  American Campaign Medal - Awarded to honor soldiers who performed military service in the American Theater of Operations during World War II.
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 bronze service stars - This medal, which features a landing ship with troops under fire is presented to members of the United States military who served in the European Theater during WWII.  The bronze service stars represents Corporal Lombardo’s participation in several military campaigns. 
  •  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
  •  Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp – for 30 or more consecutive days of duty in one of the occupied territories after World War II. To receive the German Clasp service must have been in Germany between May 9, 1945 to May 5, 1955.
  • Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II - awarded for service and discharge under honorable conditions
  • Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar - awarded for completion of a weapons qualification course and skill in the use of a rifle