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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Kuster Presents Nashua WWII Veteran with Military Medals

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 2:00pm

Today, 90 year-old Arthur Shea finally received the medals he was awarded in recognition of his service

Nashua, NH – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a ceremony in honor of 90 year-old Arthur Shea, a World War II veteran who was awarded four medals and two buttons for his service during WWII, but never received them. Congresswoman Kuster’s office located the awards for Mr. Shea, and presented them to him during Wednesday’s ceremony.

Arthur Shea joined the Navy at 17 and served as a Gunner’s Mate during WWII. He served in the Mediterranean and the Pacific, and exhibited incredible skill and bravery in the face of extreme danger. Although he was awarded four medals and two buttons for his service, he never received the physical awards. His daughter contacted Congresswoman Kuster’s office to seek her help in securing the awards for her father.

“As the daughter of a WWII veteran, I know firsthand the importance of honoring our selfless veterans who risked so much to fight for the ideals we hold dear. Arthur Shea demonstrated incredible courage and valor while fighting for our country in WWII, and it’s heartbreaking that he never received the medals he was awarded for his bravery,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “That’s why I was so honored to track down Mr. Shea’s awards and present them to him during this surprise ceremony today. It was truly touching not only to get a chance to be the one to finally recognize Mr. Shea for his service, but to also see the dedication of his family, who is so proud of their father and all he’s done both for them and for his country. I thank Mr. Shea again from the bottom of my heart for his service. He has done the Granite State proud!” 

After the war, Mr. Shea returned to New England and he and his wife Mary bought their first home in Bedford, MA in 1958. A man with incredible work ethic, after retiring from his longtime job with the MBTA, he commuted from his home in Hudson, NH to work part-time these last 29 years at a local grocery store. He only recently retired this year, at the age of 90, and he remains beloved by the store workers and clientele. Mr. Shea currently resides at Nashua Crossing Senior Living in Nashua, which is where Wednesday’s ceremony took place.  

During the ceremony, Arthur Shea was joined by his proud family. Congresswoman Kuster and Dave Kenney, Navy veteran and Chairman of the State Veterans Advisory Council, gave remarks to honor his brave service. Kuster presented Mr. Shea with the following awards:  

  • World War II Victory Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal
  • European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • Honorable Service Lapel Button 
  • U.S. Honorable Discharge Button

The daughter of a World War II veteran and a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster has long fought to ensure New Hampshire veterans receive the recognition, benefits, and access to services they deserve. She was instrumental in the fight to pass comprehensive legislation in 2014 to overhaul the VA and ensure veterans could always access treatment and care in a timely manner. As a result of her leadership, she was selected to serve as the Ranking Member (lead Democrat) on the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. She is currently working on projects to provide housing for homeless veterans, and she’s held a number of job fairs and forums aimed at ensuring veterans can make a smooth transition to civilian life after serving. Kuster has also held a series of roundtables throughout the state with veteran service organizations and local veterans to hear directly from them about how Congress can best serve their needs.