Dole Salutes WWII Veterans

Monday, August 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Bob Dole led the Illinois State Fair crowd in a chorus of ``Happy Birthday'' for a fellow veteran who got an unexpected present — medals for his World War II service.

``I was surprised,'' said an obviously pleased Thomas Ryder, 81, of Sunday's ceremony. ``I knew nothing about this deal.''

Dole, who was badly wounded in World War II, also received a check for $987,000 — the state's contribution to a national World War II memorial in Washington.

Ryder received good conduct, victory and campaign medals. Four other veterans also collected medals they never received after their tours of duty.

Often, medals weren't awarded because soldiers didn't take the time to fill out the required paperwork at the war's conclusion.