• U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, sits with World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, before awarding Cook with a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, sits with World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, before awarding Cook with a Bronze Star and a fourth...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The...

  • The Scott Air Force Base Color Guard post colors in a ceremony for World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in the ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    The Scott Air Force Base Color Guard post colors in a ceremony for World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The...

  • The Scott Air Force Base Color Guard and brass quintet, Airlifter, of the USAF Band of Mid-America participate in an official ceremony for World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in the ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    The Scott Air Force Base Color Guard and brass quintet, Airlifter, of the USAF Band of Mid-America participate in an official ceremony for World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart, by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart, by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart, by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Cook was also awarded a Bronze Star during the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Purple Heart, by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Bronze Star by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Cook was also awarded a Purple Heart, his fourth, in the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, is awarded a Bronze Star by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, shakes hands with World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook after awarding him with a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, shakes hands with World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook after awarding him with a Bronze Star and a...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, looks at the commander's coin presented to him by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. Richardson presented the coin on behalf of Lt. Col Barrett M. Bernard, commander of the 27th Infantry Regiment, after awarding Cook with a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, looks at the commander's coin presented to him by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. Richardson...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, says, "Thank you all so much," before being overcome by emotion, after having been awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, says, "Thank you all so much," before being overcome by emotion, after having been awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, says, "Thank you all so much," before being overcome by emotion after having been awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, says, "Thank you all so much," before being overcome by emotion after having been awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, delivers his Commander's Coin for Excellence to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, after awarding him a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, delivers his Commander's Coin for Excellence to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, after awarding...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, delivers his Commander's Coin for Excellence to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, after awarding him a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, delivers his Commander's Coin for Excellence to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, after awarding...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, adjusts medals awarded to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, while Cook's wife, Luellen, stands by his side. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, adjusts medals awarded to World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, while Cook's wife, Luellen, stands by...

  • World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook sits with his wife Luellen after being awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distributuion Command. 
From left to right: Sgt. Adam Pierce, Cpt. James Jacobs, Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardso and Command Sgt. Maj. Cedric Thomas stand behind Cook and his wife, Luellen. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook sits with his wife Luellen after being awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in...

  • U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Cedric Thomas of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, talks with guests who attended an offical ceremony for World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. The ceremony was officiated by Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, SDDC. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Cedric Thomas of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, talks with guests who attended an offical ceremony for World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant...

  • U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, talks with guests following a ceremony for World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook who was awarded a Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Richardson officiated the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, talks with guests following a ceremony for World War II Veteran, former Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook. Cook who was awarded a...

  • Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Cook was awarded the medals for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, officiated the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville...

  • Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Cook was awarded the medals for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, officiated the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville...

  • Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri May 18, 2014. Cook was awarded the medals for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, officiated the ceremony.(U.S. Army photo by Sarah R. Garner)

    World War II Veteran awarded Bronze Star, Fourth Purple Heart

    Awards, special recognitions and personal tokens belonging to World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, are displayed on a table following a Bronze Star and Purple Heart awarding ceremony at his home in Lesterville...

SCOTT AFB, Illinois, May. 21, 2014 -- World War II Veteran, former U.S. Army Technical Sergeant Donald L. Cook, was awarded the Bronze Star and a fourth Purple Heart for his actions in combat during the Battle of Luzon in a ceremony at his home in Lesterville, Missouri Sunday.

Army Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, headquartered at Scott AFB, presided over the ceremony and awarded the medals to Cook.

"He served bravely and honorably, then came back and served his community," said Richardson, "You know that last line of our National Anthem, 'the home of the brave'? This is the home of the brave because of people like him."

Cook, now 89 years old, was drafted into the Army in 1943 at 19 years old, just months after graduating from Centerville High School in Missouri. After completing basic training at Camp Fanning in Texas, he was assigned to the 27th Infantry Division.

The division arrived at Lingayen Gulf, off the coast of the Philippine Island of Luzon, on Jan. 11, 1945 and was then involved in the longest battle in the Pacific Theater. The 27th, along with other divisions, fought for 165 days to take control of Luzon. During that time Cook, was wounded in combat four times.

Upon Cook's return from the war and discharge from the Army, he was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.

According to the citation, Cook was awarded the Silver Star Medal for "gallantry in action against the Japanese forces near Santa Fe, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 30 May 1945. When a combat patrol, of which Technical Sergeant Cook was a member, was suddenly fired upon by a large force of enemy from three sides and a [battle buddy] wounded, with complete disregard for his own personal safely, he went to the side of the wounded man, [picked up his weapon]d up and began to fire at the approaching enemy. Then, noticing another wounded man, who lay in a position vulnerable to enemy penetration, he went to his assistance and the two of them managed to withstand the enemy force while the friendly platoon made a safe withdrawal behind them. Technical Sergeant Cook's gallant actions and devotion to duty enabled the platoon to withdraw with minimum casualties, reflecting great credit upon himself, the 25th Infantry and the Army of the United States."

It was recently discovered by Cook's family that he was missing a fourth Purple Heart and possibly other medals. With the assistance of a local U.S. Air Force colonel serving at Scott Air Force Base, Col. Steven Liddy, Cook's military records were updated and a ceremony scheduled to award him the medals he was due.

With Cook having been a Soldier, and with the awarding of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart being such a distinguished honor, Col. Liddy coordinated with the offices of the senior Army leadership at Scott AFB to ensure that an Army general officer conduct the awarding.

The Scott AFB Color Guard and the brass quintet, Airlifter, of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America also participated in the official ceremony attended by Cook's family, friends and neighbors.

"I feel honored to be the one awarding these medals. I will be retiring in one month, after serving 34 years in the Army and I am so grateful to get the chance to award Mr. Cook with such distinguished medals for his service. You don't do this very often. It's extremely important," said Richardson.

Page last updated Wed May 21st, 2014 at 13:23