One Siouxland man was dedicated to protecting our freedom.
After three wars, more than 79 combat missions and 20 years of service, on Friday the 88-year-old finally was recognized.
"I didn't have a lot of concept about losing, just do what I had to do and shoot good," WWII, Korean, & Vietnam War Veteran Robert Irwin said.
His brave actions were demonstrated through 29 combat missions during World War II and 50 combat missions during the Korean War, but his service didn't end there. Irwin said he was also in charge of maintenance for 170 helicopters during the Vietnam War.
"The job I liked best was flying the B-26 because it was a great airplane and it was the best of the WWII airplanes, but I was flying it in the Korean War" Irwin said.
Some of the details about his time in war were new to his family.
"It was wonderful to hear how much he was watched over and a little bit more of his history," Irwin's Daughter Linda Tuxhorn said.
A special ceremony that's been a long time coming sparked a lot of conversation about Irwin's military history.
"I had called and asked for some of my records, but when I called they said they were burned in the Saint Louis fire," Irwin said.
But, with the help of Iowa Congressman Steve King, Irwin was able to finally receive a number of medals that are rightfully his, including a good conduct medal, World War II Victory Medal, and American Campaign Medal, to name a few, but there was one that Irwin was especially proud of.
"Being in combat, you get the distinguished flying cross, at least somebody was happy with my work," Irwin said.
"This is quite an extraordinary thing to know there were at least 79 combat missions that were flown by Major Robert Irwin and I don't know that I've presented medals to anyone that's flown that many combat missions," Congressman King said.
"I feel real good. I like the set of medals and everything and the placard to put them on," Irwin said.
Congressman Steve King said his office wants to help other veterans in Northwest Iowa to the get the awards they deserve.
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