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Local WWII and Korea War veterans honored with medals for first time

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NEW BRITAIN - Two veterans who served in World War II and the Korea War are being honored for their service decades after leaving the military.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal presented Steven Belonick and John Kochanowski with the medals they earned for recognition of their service on Friday.

Kochanowski, who served in the Korea War, said, "I think it is a great honor to receive it, and was not expecting it," he said. "I'm very proud and very happy about it."

Meanwhile, Blumenthal said, "Steve Belonick served our country during World War II with honor and distinction, rightfully earning respect and admiration from his nation and loved ones."

Kochanowski is 87 years old and Belonick is 99 years old.

"These long overdue medals are a small tribute to his selfless service. I am proud to present him with these tokens of our nation’s deep gratitude and appreciation for his sacrifices," Blumenthal added in a statement.

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