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Valley World War II veteran Albert Malcos gets service medals decades later

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 09:48:30-04

PHOENIX — Albert Malcos has been waiting a long time for this day, decades really. At 98 years old, he's just now getting his service medals he was supposed to get more than 70 years ago.

Albert served during World War II. He still remembers stories with vivid detail, especially when his plane was shot down over German territory.

The plane was on fire and there was no choice but to bail out. "I kind of made up my mind I would just forget everything and get out," said Albert recalling that day. "I just went from the radio room to the hatch and jumped right out without thinking about it."

Albert would spend the next 15 months, captured. "Some of the medals were given out while I was in a prisoner of war camp," said Albert. "Somehow they were overlooked I think."

It wasn't until recently Albert's family reached out to Senator Kyrsten Sinema's office hoping she could help Albert finally get what he's been missing. The Senator's own grandfather also served during WWII.

"They did what their country asked them to do without thinking of their own sacrifice and without thinking of themselves as being heroes," said Sinema. "They just did the work they needed to do to preserve our freedom."

Albert says he didn't do anything special. He was just doing what he was told.

"To be able to honor him and all the service members like him, it was just incredible," said Sinema.