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Local Family Receives POW Medal on Behalf of Soldier

Michelle O'Neill
Paul Holmquist receives his father's POW medal as other family members watch.

The Army has honored a veteran of two wars from Rock Island with a medal he should have received before he died. On Friday, Major General Rodney Faulk, from First Army on Arsenal Island, presented the Prisoner of War medal to the family of Richard Holmquist. 

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Part of a display about Richard Holmquist's military service created by his son

His son, Paul Holmquist, says his father served in World War II and the Korean War.

During three years as a prisoner in North Korea, Richard Holmquist wrote down the names of every prisoner held in the camp.

Then after he got home, he traveled around the country to tell parents and family members about the last moments of the relative's life. 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos helped make sure Holmquist's family received the POW medal on his behalf. Nearly 50 people attended Friday's ceremony in Rock Island to honor Richard Holmquist, including another son, Rick, and two great-granddaughters. 

Paul Holmquist says his father also tried to enlist to serve in Vietnam. But the recruiters denied him the opportunity, telling him to go home instead.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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