Veteran gets Purple Heart posthumously

Area native killed in France during WWII

Tribune Chronicle / Christina Ramey John Chicko of Newton Falls received a Purple Heart Thursday on behalf of his brother, Joseph Chicko, who died in combat in France on July 4, 1944, during World War II. He was 25 at the time. Joseph Chicko’s family has been trying to get the Purple Heart for him since January 2017.

WARREN — A veteran who gave his life during World War II was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously Thursday.

Private First Class Joseph G. Chicko, 25, lost his life in a battle in France on July 4, 1944, said Cari Delgado, deputy director at the Trumbull County Veterans Services Commission.

Joseph Chicko was a member of the 82nd Infantry, serving as a cook in the Glider Airborne Division, Delgado said. He saw action in Sicily, Italy, Ireland and England, she said. During his time on active duty, Joseph Chicko received many awards.

“Medals that he earned while on active duty were the Bronze Star, the European-African Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and Honorable Service Lapel Button from World War II,” Delgado said.

One of the medals Chicko did not have was the Purple Heart. On Thursday, Joseph’s Purple Heart was awarded to his brother, John Chicko of Newton Falls, by U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland.

“Private First Class Joseph G. Chicko was the embodiment of courage, dignity and integrity. There will never be enough awards or recognition to show how truly grateful we are for the sacrifices that he made for our country during World War II,” Ryan said. “This Purple Heart is long overdue, but I am thankful that Joseph is finally receiving the honor and recognition he deserves. We are forever indebted to him.”

“Means a lot,” John Chicko said after receiving the medal.

John Chicko was 14 when his family received the news that Joseph Chicko died in combat.

John Chicko’s daughter, Vickie Chicko-Ball, her husband Dennis and her daughter Tammi also were at Thursday’s program.

“He earned it, definitely earned it,” Chicko-Ball said.

Chicko-Ball said she had been working with Delgado since January 2017 to get the Purple Heart awarded to her uncle.

“If we didn’t do it now, it was never going to get done,” she said. “Even at that, it took us a couple of years to get all of this done.”

Ryan said it’s important to honor families of people like Joseph Chicko because they also make sacrifices.

“I think we have an obligation to honor any loss they have,” Ryan said.

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