WADSWORTH, Ohio-- It was a day of recognition for an Akron man missing in action for more than sixty years, but never forgotten.
A grateful family is presented with medals of honor for a heroic World War II and Korean War veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Congressman Jim Renacci presided over a special Medals of Honor ceremony in Wadsworth Friday in recognition of Sgt. Dominic Eritano of Akron.
He served his country but never returned home. “This is really amazing when you think about it -- the courage and commitment and love for fellow man that was Sgt. Eritano,” Congressman Renacci said.
The World War II veteran re-enlisted after serving three years in the South Pacific. While fighting the enemy in North Korea, Sergeant Eritano put himself in hostile fire so his unit could retreat. On June 24, 1951, he was listed as missing in action and presumed dead.
His niece, Caroline McCoy, said his remains were never found. "This has always bothered me because we found no bones, no dog tags nothing to this day, she said.
McCoy always believed her uncle deserved recognition for his bravery. "I wanted to get him a little plaque or something with his name on it, a stone of some sort," she added.
Congressman Renacci found Sgt. Eritano was deserving of much more. He presented the family with ten Medals of Honor, including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. "It's a heck of a sacrifice. I mean you can't give any more out of your life than your life and to save your country,” Sgt. Eritano’s nephew, Mickey Eritano, said.
Congressman Renacci summed up the ceremony this way: "As a nation, we thank God for our patriots like Sgt. Eritano who gave so much to protect our way of life."