HARRISBURG, August 8, 2008 – State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) and U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) presented several long-overdue military awards to Augustine Russo of Dormont in Congressman Doyle’s Ross Street office this morning.

“When Mr. Russo’s daughter contacted me in June, I was struck by the story and wanted to do what I could to ensure that her father received the Presidential citations that had been issued to his unit,” Senator Fontana said. “I was honored to participate today when Augustine finally received the medals that he so richly deserves and grateful that Congressman Doyle worked with my office to make it happen.”

“It’s never too late to honor an individual’s service to his country,” Congressman Doyle said about the low-key ceremony. “Staff Sergeant Russo served his country faithfully for nearly the entire war, and I’m glad I was able to finally get him the official recognition he deserves – even it it’s 60 years late.”

Mr. Russo, a U.S. Army Army veteran, served in the 40th Fighter Squadron of the 35th Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater in World War II but never received several medals and awards he had earned. After being notified of Mr. Russo’s case by Senator Fontana, Congressman Doyle worked with the Department of Defense to secure these awards.

This morning, Congressman Doyle and Senator Fontana presented Mr. Russo with a WWII Victory Medal, an Asian Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 bronze service stars, a Good Conduct Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and a Marksmanship badge with carbine bar.

“One of my jobs as a Member of Congress is to act as an ombudsman and advocate for my community with the federal government,” Congressman Doyle observed. “It’s always a pleasure when I can help someone get the treatment they deserve. It’s an even greater pleasure when that service consists of thanking a local veteran for his service to our country.”