60 Years After Armistice Ended Korean War, Senator Kennedy Helps Korean War Veteran Finally Secure State Honors

After contacting Kennedy for help, Buffalo resident Bob Lucia finally gains access to state medals he earned while serving in Korea.

Veterans who may have earned but not yet received medals of recognition from New York State are encouraged to contact Senator Kennedy’s office. 

Kennedy: The Korean War came to an end 60 years ago today, and it’s fitting that on this day – after 60 years of waiting – Corporal Lucia is finally granted the honors he earned for his valiant service in Korea.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – On July 27, 1953, the Korean War came to its conclusion with the signing of an armistice agreement that brokered an end to hostilities in Korea. Today, July 27, 2013 – a full six decades later – Robert Lucia, a Korean War veteran from Buffalo, has finally received the prestigious state honors he earned in service to the country.

Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, today presented Mr. Lucia with the New York State Conspicuous Service Star and the New York State Medal for Merit, nearly 60 years after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. Mr. Lucia was joined by his wife Doris Anne Lucia, as well as Erie County American Legion Adjutant Brian Lewandowski and WNY Korean War Veterans Commander Carl Marranca.

“The Korean War came to an end 60 years ago today, and it’s fitting that on this day – after 60 years of waiting – Corporal Robert Lucia is finally awarded the state honors he earned for his valiant service in the Korean War,” said Senator Kennedy. “The Korean War is often referred to as the ‘forgotten war.’ However, it’s on days like today that all of us must remember the forgotten war and honor the brave soldiers who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met. It is imperative that our nation never forget the sacrifices endured and the thousands of lives lost in Korea. We owe it to the men and women who served to carry on their legacy of patriotism and courage. I want to thank Corporal Lucia and all those who served in the Korean War for their great sacrifices and heroism.”

For sixty years, Robert Lucia has waited for New York State to finally extend the honors he earned through his valiant service in Korea. When Mr. Lucia contacted Senator Kennedy’s office looking for help in securing his medals, Senator Kennedy went to work for him. After providing Mr. Lucia with support through the application process, Senator Kennedy urged the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs to expedite the process to ensure Mr. Lucia received his medals quickly.

They were responsive to Senator Kennedy’s request and moved swiftly to approve Mr. Lucia’s application for the New York State veterans service medals he earned in the Korean War.

Mr. Lucia served with the 4th Air Photo Interpretation Company on the Korean Peninsula. It was soldiers like Mr. Lucia who helped coalition forces navigate the uncharted lands. Their work also allowed officers and troops to make strategic maneuvers to weaken the enemy, and ensured forces were aware of any obstacles they may encounter in their path. This type of intelligence work was absolutely critical to the war effort.

Mr. Lucia trained as an infantryman and radio operator at Fort Dix and later trained in Intelligence and Air Photo Interpretation while stationed in Japan. He earned the rank of Corporal within the U.S. Army, and after his service ended, he became a decorated veteran.

For his distinguished service, he was awarded the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal and several other decorations and commendations. Today, Mr. Lucia was awarded the New York State Conspicuous Service Star and the New York State Medal for Merit.

The New York State Medal for Merit is awarded to New York State residents who served the nation with distinction in federal active-duty. The New York State Conspicuous Service Star is awarded to state residents who served in combat situations while an active-active duty member of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard – and also received unit commendations arising from that service.

“Veterans across Western New York have earned state honors for their distinguished service to our nation, but have not yet received them. Many are not be aware of our state’s veterans service medals, or they may not know how to access them,” Kennedy said. “If you have served in the Armed Forces – and especially if you’ve been awarded high distinctions for your service – please let us know and we can help you gain access to state honors you have earned.”

Veterans should contact Senator Kennedy’s office at 716-826-2683 or kennedy@nysenate.gov to get help in securing state medals.


In this photo, (from left) Senator Tim Kennedy, Doris Anne Lucia, Corporal Robert Lucia, Erie County American Legion Adjutant Brian Lewandowski, WNY Korean War Veterans Commander Carl Marranca.


Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 63rd District, which is comprised of the town of Cheektowaga, the city of Lackawanna and nearly all of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.