- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) - It was one of those dwindling opportunities to recognize someone who fought in World War II.

Daniel Schwob, 90, of Mishawaka, was presented with seven World War II medals on Tuesday, 70 years after he was discharged from the Army Air Corps.

The veteran was honored at the South Bend office of U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly after a brief ceremony during which Donnelly’s staff and Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood thanked him for his service.

A lifelong Mishawaka resident, Schwob was happy to meet his city’s mayor.

“Mishawaka is built on the service of veterans such as yourself,” Wood told Schwob as he received his medals. “I’m proud to have you as one of our citizens.”

Lauren Varga, the regional director of Donnelly’s South Bend office, presented Schwob the medals. “Senator Donnelly has asked me to thank you so much for your service to our country,” Varga told Schwob as she handed him the medals in a glass-topped, display case.

Schwob served as a radar mechanic in Asia during the war, a job he described as “flying an airplane from the ground.”

For that work he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button, Expert Badge with Carbine Bar, and Marksman Badge with Pistol Bar, all of which he finally received Tuesday.

Schwob raised a family and worked as a visual artist after he returned from the war. In fact, his artwork has won him many honors and has been exhibited in galleries around the nation.

Tuesday, though, was about his military awards, earned so long ago but of which he might never have taken possession if not for the help of family friend Ann Roberts, who was with Schwob at the ceremony.

Tasked with helping plan Schwob’s 90th birthday party last November, Roberts turned to Schwob’s military service for inspiration, she said. She wanted to display the pictures, paperwork and medals related to his service at his party, but was told by Schwob’s family that he never received his medals.

Roberts then made it her mission to get Schwob those medals, calling Donnelly’s office for help.

It didn’t take them long to offer assistance, Roberts said. “They knew what form I needed. I printed it out and Dan signed it. They were really fast,” she said.

Schwob is among the fewer than 700,000 living Americans who served in World War II, according to figures from the U.S. Veterans Administration. In all, about 16 million Americans served in the war - and they are dying at a rate of about 430 a day, according to the Veterans Administration.

Schwob didn’t have much to say about his time in the war. But he remembered coming home.

“I married the most beautiful woman,” Schwob said about his late wife, Cecilia Schwob. “When I got off the airplane in my uniform, she smiled, and we got married.”

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Source: South Bend Tribune, https://bit.ly/23Kly75

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com


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