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Illinois man receives medals from World War II and Korean War

Purple Heart medal (Ed Passi/Flickr)

This Veterans Day was extra special for the family and friends of one Southern Illinois veteran.

Carmine Liscio of Creal Springs received some long-overdue military honors on Wednesday afternoon at Congressman Mike Bost’s Carbondale Office. Liscio’s wife, Dorothy, and granddaughter Dorothy Grant on Liscio’s behalf received the World War II Victorious Medal, National Defense Medal, the medal for service in Korea and a Purple Heart with two stars.

Liscio, a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War, served as a boatswain mate on the LST 1134. Bost explained that Liscio’s duties included ferrying sailors from the boat to land to fight and then bringing back to the boat. On one trip, Liscio was bringing wounded men back to the ship and the landing craft he was piloting took a direct hit. He qualified for his first Purple Heart for his actions that day.

“This is more than somebody who served. This is somebody who served in a great capacity,” Bost said. “We the American people thank him and thank them (his family), especially on Veteran’s Day.”

Liscio went on to earn two more Purple Hearts. That is why his Purple Heart medal has two stars. It represents the three Purple Hearts he earned.

“If you earned three Purple Hearts in Vietnam, it was an automatic trip home,” Bost said, adding that the rule did not exist until after the Korean War.

His office often receives calls to help veterans get the medals they earned. He said many veterans were more concerned about getting home to loved ones than getting their medals. It is often their families who want them to be recognized.

“He just wanted to forget about it. He loved the Navy,” Dorothy Liscio said.

Bob Davenport reached out to Bost’s office to help Liscio, who is like a father to Davenport, get services for his medical issues. He also asked about Liscio’s medals.

Liscio suffers from dementia and has flashbacks to his military service. He is in a nursing home in Cobden and was unable to attend the ceremony.

Bost said the military did not always understand post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. During World War II, they said men were “shell-shocked.” During the Korean War, they used the term battle fatigue. Today, more is known about PTSD and how to treat it.

Grant also thanked Bost for helping her grandfather.

“If not for you, he wouldn’t have gotten the help he needed,” Grant told Bost.

Dorothy Liscio said the box that held her husband’s medals was “beautiful.” It will have a place of honor in a curio cabinet in her home, alongside their late son’s service mementos. Liscio said their son served in the Air Force.

After the ceremony, Bost, who served in the Marine Corps, showed the Liscio family pictures of him with his son and father, who also are veterans.

Grant said she wished her grandfather could have been present, but that was not possible.

“Without Bob and Congressman Bost, my grandfather would not be getting the help he needed,” she said.


(c) 2020 The Southern Illinoisan

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