Claremore Veteran Gets Replacement WWII Medals On Birthday

Thursday, April 10th 2014, 7:18 pm
By: News On 6

Everyone should have a birthday celebration like the one at the Claremore Veterans Center on Thursday. There were presents, speeches, and the birthday boy even serenaded guests.

But it's something else he got that made the celebration even more special.

In December 1944 Larry Filkins was a 20-year-old Army combat medic with the 3rd Armored Division. The Germans had mounted a counter offensive, later famously called the Battle of the Bulge.

Filkins remembers all of that, but some of the medals he was awarded for World War II service were somehow lost over the years, that is, until Thursday.

With the help of someone he's never met, a Claremore native and retired Navy Lawyer, now living in Florida, the Army reissued replacement medals which Filkins got on Thursday.

He was also presented a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol from congressman Mark Wayne Mullin, Sheriff Scott Walton read a proclamation from the Oklahoma Legislature, and of course, the medals; good conduct medal, The Europe and Asia service medal and the World War II victory medal, all on his 90th birthday.

Filkins daughter flew in from Colorado and people gathered at the Claremore Veteran's Center to help him celebrate.

Claremore's VFW post 2,976 organized the event.