In the News

Suburban Boynton Beach veteran finally receives WWII medals

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Boynton Beach, FL, September 2, 2015 | comments

Alexandra Seltzer
Palm Beach Post

BOYNTON BEACH —

For 20 years, Nicole Siragusa fought to get her father eight war medals he never received for service in World War II.

On Tuesday, she succeeded when U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel presented the medals to Vincent Miro, now 89.

Miro seemed speechless as he sat at a table next to his wife of 65 years and his children. At the head of the table stood Frankel and about a dozen veterans, and a group of reporters crowded around. Miro lightly drummed his fingers on the table.

“I didn’t realize I did this much,” Miro said, still every bit the humble hero he was when he was part of the troops that invaded Utah Beach at Normandy, a battle that turned the war.

In addition to the eight medals Miro received, he was also entered into the Congressional Record on Aug. 25.

“It’s never too late to thank a hero,” Frankel said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Boynton Beach.

Miro of suburban Boynton Beach enlisted in the Navy at 17 years and 11 months old. During his service in World War II, Miro was on LST-346that on D-Day brought soldiers to Utah Beach. He and his fellow soldiers picked up the wounded in the water. They made several trips back and forth.

He tells the story of rescuing LST-327, a vessel that was struck by mines in August 1944, as if it happened yesterday. Many of the crewmen were killed. While soldiers were told not to go near the vessel because of more mines, Miro’s captain did the opposite.

Miro’s ship tied up to the sinking 327, and the soldiers took the wounded and dead into their ship, and towed the damaged vessel to England.

Siragusa, now 44, has spent decades chasing information on her dad’s history in the Navy, and the medals he was owed. Her dad didn’t talk much about his experience, and her curiosity grew as she learned more from outside sources. After watching “Saving Private Ryan,” Siragusa asked him, “Is this what you did?”

World War II veteran Vincent Miro. Photo handout: Family

She recently reached out to a congressional representative in Broward County and was told to call Frankel’s office, who in turn connected the dots.

Unfortunately there is one letter Miro will have to do without, and it’s one he’s really been hoping for, Siragusa said. Because of the amount of time that has passed, the Department of the Navy told Frankel that Miro won’t be able to receive the Letter of Commendation signed by his then-commanding officer Lt. Joshua Howell.

Still, it seemed Miro was overwhelmed with the awards he was given, insisting he’s not a hero, he was just “lucky.”

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