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Easton Man Gets Fallen Brother's Medals

Sgt. Vincent Romeo died during the Korean War. Nearly 62 years later, his brother received his medals.

Growing up, there was only a year separating Easton brothers Nick and Vincenzo Romeo.

But since 1950, the gulf between them has been much deeper, and horribly eternal.

That was the year Vincenzo -- a U.S. Army soldier -- was captured, and later died, while fighting in the Korean War.

Sixty-two years later, Nick Romeo found a way to honor his older brother, requesting the medals he had earned during his service.

On Thursday, a veterans group called American Ex-Prisoners of War presented Romeo with those medals during a brief, quiet ceremony in Centre Square.

"Sad and happy," is how Romeo described his feelings after getting the medals, mounted and framed.

Those medals include a Purple Heart, a POW medal, a Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal, Korean Service medal, Combat infantryman badge, United Nations service medal, and a Gold star lapel button pin, said Charles Susino, Jr. the American Ex-Prisoners of War's national commander.

Sgt. Romeo served with Company K, in the 8th Cavalary Regiment, 1st Cavalary Division. He was taken prisoner near Yongbyan, in North Korea on November 2, 1950. He died Decemeber 31 of that year near the Yalu River on the China/North Korea border.

Earlier this year, his brother was reading a newsletter from the American Ex-Prisoners of War and decided to request his brother's medals.

"If it wasn't for the the organization of ex-POWs, it never would have happened," Romeo said.

Susino said it should have happened much sooner. 

"It's a shame the goverment didn't do what they were supposed to do," he told reporters before the ceremony.

Susino is himself an ex-POW. He served in World War II, and escaped from a German prison camp, said his son, also named Charles. Yet it wasn't years until his service was recognized.

"My father, he got his medals in 1990," he said. "But you could tell, it meant the world to him."

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