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Sapulpa Vet And Former POW Returning To Japan 70 Years Later

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Phillip Coon and his son Michael Coon. Phillip Coon and his son Michael Coon.
SAPULPA, Oklahoma -

A Creek Nation veteran from Sapulpa is visiting the country that held him captive during World War II.

Phillip Coon was a Corporal in the U.S. Army's 31st Infantry when he was taken prisoner while serving in the Philippines, spending three and a half years as a POW in Japan.

Family and friends held a send-off ceremony at the Sapulpa Indian Community Center Saturday morning.

His trip is part of a POW Friendship Program sponsored by the country of Japan.

As a prisoner, Coon was part of the Bataan Death March before being shipped off to Japan. While there, Coon was forced to work as a slave in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. He will visit each of those cities on this trip as well meet the country's prime minister.

His son, Michael Coon, an Army veteran as well, is going with his father and says the next nine days will close this chapter in his father's life.

Father and son left Tulsa International Airport Saturday morning after getting a motorcycle escort from Sapulpa.

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