Decades later, the family of a Kentucky native and military veteran finally has the medals honoring his service. Airman First Class Billy Hickey was a Korean War veteran who was held for nearly three years as a prisoner of war.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul presented the medals to his son Colonel George Hickey in Bowling Green Monday.
“I never was able to get these medals and I'm very glad the senator was able to get them for me," said Hickey.
Col. George Hickey was presented the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal & Silver Star Attachment, and the United Nations Service Medal.
Senator Paul, whose family has a history in the Air Force, said being able to present the medals was gratifying.
"My father-in-law was career Air Force, my dad was in the Air Force for five years, I have a brother-in-law in the Air Force Academy, and then a nephew who's now a Navy pilot,” explained Paul. “Anytime we can restore medals to people who have either lost medals or through moves and travels can no longer find the medals, we like to restore them."
Airman First Class Billy Hickey, now deceased, was a native of Rockcastle County. He returned home in 1953 following 33 months as a POW. He served in the U.S. Army before joining the Air Force.