Korean War vet receives long overdue medals

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Jim Traufler of Albion received medals today for his service six decades ago when he was in the Marine Corps in the Korean War.

In the photo, Traufler, 82, received six medals as well as an embrace from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Traufler was recognized during a Veterans Day ceremony in front of the Veterans Service Agency office on Route 31 in Albion.

“It’s something you don’t think about,” Traufler said about the medals. “I’ll put them away and give them to my kids and grandkids.”

Traufler served in the Marines from 1951 to 1954. Today he received National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Combat Action Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

Traufler visited with Veterans Service Agency office on another matter when Paul Fulcomer, director of the Veterans Service Agency, noticed that Traufler was eligible to receive several medals. Traufler didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but his wife Virginia pushed for him to accept the medals in public.

“I thought it was a fantastic honor,” she said.

After his service in the Korean War, Traufler worked as a truck driver, taking three trips a week from Buffalo to Boston. After he retired as truck driver, he started another career as a rides mechanic at Darien Lake. He did that for 14 years before retiring two years ago at age 80.

Veterans are welcome to call the Veterans Service Agency to inquire if they are due any medals for their military service. For more information, call 589-7000 ext. 3218.