Honoring a Valley World War II veteran
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Along with the memories of his service more than 70 years ago, Ken Abrahamian now has a chest full of medals. Pinned on by Retired Marine Warrant Officer Dan Payne.
"And this is the good conduct. We like to refer to this as the you didn't get caught medal."
At a ceremony that was both serious and lighthearted the now 90 year old Navy Veteran who served in the Pacific during World War II was given the medals he never received, along with the good conduct there were four of others, including the Philippine Liberation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal. Although pleased to get the medals, Abrahamian remained humble.
"How you feeling today?"
"Fine. Fine." He responded.
"What do you think about getting these medals?"
"A million other people deserve them too." He said.
Ken's family went through Congressman Jim Costa's office to get the medals.
"He is truly a shining example of a proud American and he and his family we must thank for their service to this country, God bless you." Costa said.
Ken Abrahamian was a machinist's mate. He served on two ships, the USS Spangler and the USS Ajax. His job was to repair battleships and aircraft carriers damaged during some of the toughest sea battles of the war. And as he tells it, whatever needed fixing.
"We repaired almost anything bent propellers, even false teeth."
Ken's family knew he served, but his son Ken told us dad never talked much about it. Costa was a neighbor and said he never knew Mr. Abrahamian served in the war.
"So many of their buddies and fellow sailors soldiers never made it back so I think that's why so many in his generation didn't talk about it, but I'm very proud that as a neighbor for three generations I could provide him the medals he earned and so richly deserved."
As for the war, Ken is not sentimental. It was just a three year interruption of his life on the farm.
"How did you feel when the war ended?" He was asked.
"Fine. Real fine. I wanted to get out. Go back to farming." He replied.
And most days, his family says, you will still see him on a tractor.
fresno, fresno county, local, gene haagenson
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