WWII Veteran, 91, Receives Overdue Medals in Rhode Island

World War II veteran Joseph Aquilante, 91, of North Providence, R.I., stands beside medals presented to him by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, Monday, May 15, 2017, at the senator's office in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)
World War II veteran Joseph Aquilante, 91, of North Providence, R.I., stands beside medals presented to him by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, Monday, May 15, 2017, at the senator's office in Cranston, R.I. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)

CRANSTON, R.I. — A 91-year-old World War II veteran in Rhode Island has received his overdue medals.

Joseph Aquilante, of North Providence, sought the medals so he could leave them for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He says he wants to pass them on as a keepsake and part of history.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island presented them Monday in Cranston.

Aquilante was drafted in 1944 at age 18. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal, Japan Clasp.

Aquilante reported on new developments in Japan and retrieved Japanese aircraft from airfields for technical knowledge.

He began talking more about his service later in life when he built a model of the bomber he trained on for his grandson.

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