East Texas serviceman receives medals earned 70 years ago - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas serviceman receives medals earned 70 years ago

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas veteran is being honored for his bravery and service 70 years ago during World War II.

Navy veteran Joe Hogue says he's been thinking about this moment for a long time.

Dozens of active duty Navy members were on hand at East Texas Baptist University as the 91-year-old Hogue was honored for his distinguished service during WWII.

"It was a tremendous honor; it's pretty much indescribable how significant this is, because his generation, that generation, enabled us to serve," says Captain Gil Miller, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Forth Worth.

A turret gunner on squadron V-B i08, Hogue was recognized for conduct above and beyond the call of duty against the Japanese.

"I was just blown away with the university and the Navy, the way they both responded and made such a big presentation of this. It was heartwarming," says Hogue’s son Ken Haney.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal by Presidential Order,

"There was anticipation, and a little anxiety mixed in. Well, it was really an overwhelming experience to have all these servicemen to come here and be here for this presentation. It's overwhelming," Hogue says.

"He's been looking forward to this for a long time; it was great that it was beyond expectations, I believe," Haney says.

Hogue came back to East Texas after the war, and graduated from ETBU in 1956. He remembers those who flew with him.

"We had 24 members of our squadron that didn't come back. There's so many more in the squadron that died that probably deserve this type of award more than I do," says Hogue.

Navy members from NAS Forth Worth made this day one Hogue will always remember.

"The youthful sailors we brought here, this is a life-changing event for them who not only served, but when he got back, dedicated so much to the foundations of this country," Captain Miller says.

"I have to say this is a happy occasion for me," Hogue says.

The story never changes.

There is something in each Naval generation that refuses to quit, refuses to lose.

An honor shared by them all, and never too late to give honor, where honor is due.

Hogue is still very active at East Texas Baptist university. He volunteers at the alumni office and is a member of the ETBU Sports Hall of Fame.

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