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101-Year-Old Hamden Vet Receives Combat Medals, 74 Years After Serving

A 101-year-old Connecticut World War II veteran was honored with three medals over the weekend for his service—74 years after being wounded in combat. 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy presented the medals to Fred Baselice of Hamden on Sunday, following the town’s Memorial Day Parade.

Murphy called the medals long overdue, noting that people like Baselice did not fight for the recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.

“There are a lot of families that got to celebrate Christmases, and birthdays and anniversaries because Fred Baselice went out and saved lives on the battlefield of World War II. That’s a legacy that I don’t think many of us can understand.”

Baselice’s family contacted Murphy’s office in April to help them attain the medals. 

Baselice said he never gave much thought to medals or ceremony, that he was more interested in raising a family after the war, but he said he appreciated the honor.

“I appreciate it, but there’s a lot of soldiers out there that should get their medals, too. I’m grateful for what they did for me.”

Baselice was stationed in France during World War II, where he was wounded in combat. When he came back to Connecticut, he was one of the first employees of the West Haven VA.

Senator Murphy says there are thousands of stories similar to his around the country, and it often only takes one conversation to get the process started to secure the medals they deserve. 

The medals Baselice received are the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp.