Odessa war vet receives 10 overdue medals

BIG SPRING, Texas (AP) - Sixty years after returning from World War II where he was a prisoner of war -- an 88-year-old veteran has been awarded 10 military awards in a surprise ceremony.

Lyndall Preslar teared up at the Veterans Affairs hospital today as U.S. Marine Capt. Henry Billings pinned a new Bronze Star on him and presented him with nine other medals.

His medals include the World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the Prisoner of War Medal.

The Odessa American reports Preslar -- who was surrounded by family and hospital staff -- said he thought all he was eligible for was a POW medal.

A social worker at the hospital, Jan Lentz, worked to get the overdue medals for the vet after learning of his experiences.

They arrived two weeks ago after she wrote a letter to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Preslar endured 40 months of torture, starvation and slave labor at a prisoner of war camp.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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