Posted: Sep 4, 2012 6:10 PM by Nathan O'Neal
Updated: Sep 4, 2012 6:41 PM
FORT HUACHUCA - An Army veteran from Bisbee received a long-awaited honor today at Fort Huachuca.
92-year-old Captain Richard Cooksley was awarded the Bronze Star after more than 60 years after he retired from the Army.
"It's great to know that people care," Cooksley told a crowd of veterans, soldiers and civilians.
He served in the Phillippines and is one of only 60 living survivors of the Bataan Death March. He was also a prisoner of war in Japan.
"It was just very inspirational to a guy like me who's been in the army a little while, but to see guys like this it just warms your heart and just gives you a sense of pride," said Command Sergeant Major Todd Holiday, who attended the award ceremony.
Cooksley also fought in the Korean war. He retired in 1960 but was never recognized for his service until a friend tipped of Congressman Ron Barber's office, which spearheaded the awarding of the medal.
Cooksley says his time in the military molded him into the person he is today.
"It taught me you have to help your person who isn't able physically to continue if you build him up and talk to him...maybe he'll live," Cooksley told News 4 Tucson.
Holiday says it's incredible that Cooksley was recognized after so long.
"It shows that even after a long period of time, when he should have gotten the award earlier and he didn't get it...the army still recognized...our nation still recognized his service," Holiday said.
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
Win! Win! Win!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Let us help grow your business
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories