Better Late Than Never

Although the veterans of the Bataan Campaign served with distinction and great sacrifice, both during the campaign and the rest of the war afterward, many issues followed their service, affecting them individually as well as family members.  These range from medical care to service pay to pensions, as well as recognition in the form of awards or citations.

Last week, Bataan veteran, Jesse Baltazar, a former soldier and airman, received the Purple Heart in recognition of his wounds received on 15 March 1942 during the Bataan Campaign.  The Stars and Stripes online edition featured his story, which can be viewed with pictures, at:

http://www.stripes.com/news/wwii-vet-who-escaped-from-bataan-death-march-finally-gets-his-purple-heart-1.324828#

The article says he was a member of the 71st Battalion, but as battalions were then numbered from 1 to 3 (or 4, in the case of the 4 th Marine Regiment), this likely refers to the 71st Infantry Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division (Philippine Army).

Regardless of the details of unit assignment, it is great to see a Bataan veteran receive such appropriate recognition for his service and sacrifice.

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