Scalise Honors 98-Year-Old WWII Veteran with Prisoner of War Medal 75 Years Later: ‘Totally Overwhelming’

On Friday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) honored a “World War II hero” and veteran, who had spent over 400 days as a prisoner of war (POW), for his service 75 years later.

Former Capt. Lucian James Siracusa, 98, previously received the Distinguished Flying Corps Air Medal with Clusters, but on Friday was presented with the POW medal by Scalise at the American Legion Post 16 in Covington of Louisiana.

During WWII, Siracusa served as a U.S. Air Corps pilot and was shot down while over France on May 27, 1944, quickly becoming a German POW.

“He spent more than 400 days in captivity. But they never broke him. In fact, if you look at him, he’s as fit and nimble today,” Scalise said, according to WVUE, before addressing the veteran. “You could storm those beaches in Normandy right now, Captain Siracusa.”

Siracusa still fits the uniform he wore during his service in WWII, sporting it during Friday’s ceremony.

Check out the post below:

Siracusa, who turns 99 years old next month, was finally honored with the POW medal, which is issued to those taken captive while in action against an enemy of the U.S.

“It’s totally overwhelming,” Siracusa said. “I didn’t expect anything like this and I don’t deserve it.”

“You absolutely do,” Scalise assured him.

Watch below:

Whip Steve Scalise presented Capt. Lucian Siragusa with the POW medal this morning. Nearly 75 years ago, Siragusa was shot down over Germany while fighting World War II. He was a POW for 400 days. Today, the Captain said he’s not a hero. I’ll have his story tonight at 6 on WDSU News.

Posted by Michael Vinsanau WDSU on Friday, April 5, 2019


Last week, President Donald Trump, along with first lady Melania Trump, honored another veteran posthumously with the Medal of Honor, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins, as IJR Red reported.

During his second tour to Iraq, Atkins gave up his own life to save three of his service members when, without hesitation, he bear-hugged a man who had a suicide vest.

See some of the ceremony:

POTUS Honors One of the Army's 'Bravest' with Posthumous Medal of Honor and Shares His Story of Courage

This soldier made the ultimate sacrifice.For more from IJR, visit

Posted by IJR Red Presents on Thursday, March 28, 2019


“In his final moments on earth, Travis did not run. He didn’t know what it was to run,” the president said at the White House event on March 27. “He laid down his life to save the lives of his fellow warriors.”

“We are humbly reminded of the invaluable cost of freedom,” the first lady said. “His last actions were made to save the lives of his teammates. God Bless our troops.”

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Phyllis Softa

Thank you, Rep Scalise. We know how Trump feels about POW’s so it was great that you stepped up to honor Siracusa.

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