WWII veteran from Elgin awarded his due.
Byline: Lauren Rohr firstname.lastname@example.org
Elgin native Eugene Termini tried for 73 years to track down the medals he earned while serving in the Coast Guard during World War II.
He finally received them Sunday in a celebration fit for a hero.
Termini, 92, lives at the Vines Senior Homes in Elgin, where he once mentioned to activity director Cathy Vaden that, for reasons unknown to him, he never got his awards after he was honorably discharged from the military in 1946.
Every few years, Termini would try inquiring about the medals but always hit a dead end, he told Vaden. He appeared to make some progress through a local organization this past October, though he was told the process would take more than a year.
So Vaden decided to step in.
"I'm kind of aggressive sometimes, so I started making phone calls, and the next thing I know, I'm talking to Washington, D.C.," Vaden said. "I'm like, 'No, he's not waiting another year. I want those medals.' And they sent them to me."
Termini knew the medals were on their way thanks to Vaden's efforts. What he wasn't anticipating was the fashion in which he would receive them.
Friends and family filled a Vines common room Sunday to watch members of the American Legion Elgin Post 57 present