DENVER (KDVR) — A 102-year-old II veteran was recognized and awarded a handful of medals he earned but never received after his service during World War II.
Father Edward Flaherty Jr. served in the U.S. Army from 1941-1945, including time in the Pacific theater of World War II — but he never received the medals as recognition for his time there.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter awarded the medals in a ceremony on Friday.
“We are proud to have Father Flaherty call Colorado home for so many years, and forever indebted to him for his service to our community and sacrifice on behalf of our country,” Perlmutter said in a press release.
“It is a statement of the obvious that presenting these medals to Father Flaherty, 75+ years after he earned them, is just a bit overdue,” said retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Steven Best, who helped with the ceremony. “His service in the Pacific Theater of Operations was in places most of us only know about from what we’ve read in the history books, or seen in movies.”
Flaherty served as a medical technician with the 131st Engineer Regiment Medical Detachment, where he treated fellow soldiers’ wounds and assisted with evacuations.
Originally from Kansas City, where he worked for Folger’s as a bookkeeper and accountant, Flaherty entered the Jesuit order in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1965. He then moved to Colorado in 1967 and taught at Regis University. He most recently pastored at the Shrine of St. Anne Parish in Arvada.
During the ceremony, Flaherty was awarded:
- Army Good Conduct Medal;
- American Defense Service Medal;
- American Campaign Medal;
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars;
- World War II Victory Medal;
- Honorable Service Lapel Button – WWII;
- and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star.