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Sixty years to the day after the armistice ending the Korean War was signed, an area veteran received two of New York’s highest honors for his service after decades of waiting.

Robert Lucia of Buffalo was awarded the New York State Conspicuous Service Star and the New York State Medal for Merit at a ceremony Saturday. State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, who helped expedite the application process after Lucia sought his help in getting recognition from the state, was on hand to present the awards.

“The Korean War came to an end 60 years ago today, and it’s fitting that on this day – after 60 years of waiting – Corporal Robert Lucia is finally awarded the state honors he earned for his valiant service in the Korean War,” Kennedy said.

Lucia trained as an infantryman and radio operator before switching to Intelligence and Air Photo Interpretation while stationed in Japan. His intelligence work helped coalition forces navigate foreign territory and execute strategic maneuvers.