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WWII veteran, 91, receives overdue medals in Rhode Island

World War II veteran Joseph Aquilante, 91, of North Providence, R.I., stands beside medals presented to him by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, Monday, May 15, 2017, at the senator's office in Cranston, R.I.

JENNIFER MCDERMOTT/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 15, 2017

CRANSTON, R.I. — A 91-year-old World War II veteran in Rhode Island has received his overdue medals.

Joseph Aquilante, of North Providence, sought the medals so he could leave them for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He says he wants to pass them on as a keepsake and part of history.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, presented them Monday.

Aquilante was drafted at the age of 18 in 1944. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Army  Occupation Medal, Japan Clasp.

Aquilante reported on new developments in Japan during the war and retrieved Japanese aircraft from airfields for technical knowledge.  He began talking more about his service later in life, when he built a model of the bomber he trained on for his grandson.

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