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Rep. Cartwright Presents Military Awards and Decorations to Five Local Veterans

Jan 3, 2020
Press Release


Scranton, PA – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) honored one veteran of World War II along with four who fought in the Korean War at an event at the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center.

Rep. Cartwright presented numerous awards to the late Robert A. Jones, First Sergeant, U.S. Army, recognizing him for a career of outstanding military service during World War II. 1Sg. Jones’s son, Allan Jones, received the following awards in his father’s honor: the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Expert Badge with Carbine Bar, and Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar. Jones was a native of Carbondale and lived in Waymart before his passing.

Cartwright also presented the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal to four distinguished servicemembers with Northeastern Pennsylvania ties:

  • Corporal Joseph Castellano, U.S. Army, of Scranton
  • Sergeant Eugene Chikowski, U.S. Army, of West Pittston
  • Seaman First Class Donald Liotta, U.S. Navy, of Scranton
  • Private First Class Frank Prokop, U.S. Army, of Wyoming

The Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to the American men and women who served in the Korean conflict.

“Today we pay tribute to these five brave Northeastern Pennsylvanians who put their lives on the line in defense of our freedom and our democracy,” said Rep. Cartwright. “They served at a perilous time in our world’s history, when the future of our democratic way of life was anything but certain. In the face of this global threat, they answered the call to fight. We must never forget their role keeping our nation safe. It is a privilege and an honor to thank them today and celebrate their service and sacrifice to our nation.”

Vets Event Photos


Robert A. Jones, First Sergeant, U.S. Army: Born and raised in Carbondale, Jones enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1940 at the age of 19 and was honorably discharged in June 1945. His service during World War II included tours in Normandy, Northern France and Ardennes-Alsace. He also fought in the Rhineland Campaigns and the Battle of the Bulge in Central Europe. Additionally, he was a member of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s staff while in England before the Normandy invasion. Jones passed away in February 1982.

Joseph Castellano, Corporal, U.S. Army: A lifelong native of Scranton, Castellano was drafted into the Army at the age of 19 to fight in the Korean War. He served as a member of the 196 Field Artillery Battalion, Charlie Battery.

Eugene Chikowski, Sergeant, U.S. Army: Born in Duryea, Chikowski was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 915th Engineer Aviation Group. He was a mechanical draftsman in Japan for the Army and Air Force, and following that, he worked on engineering plans for advanced airstrips in Korea. After his military service, he returned to the Scranton area and opened his own architectural firm in Avoca. He now lives in West Pittston.

Donald Liotta, Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy: Liotta enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1948 at the age of 18. He served for five years in the Korean Conflict. He now lives in Scranton.

Frank Prokop, Private First Class, U.S. Army: Prokop enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1950 at the age of 19. He was stationed first in Okinawa, Japan, before being called to fight in the Korean War. He was awarded a Purple Heart in recognition for being wounded in battle. Prokop also received the Combat Infantry Badge for his service on the front lines of battle in active ground combat. He now lives in the borough of Wyoming.