An award ceremony honoring a very special World War II veteran is taking place this morning. Navy veteran Earl Riley Arnold, a 90 year old resident of Bend served on the destroyer USS Monahan, barely surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. 25 years ago, he became estranged from his family, and thanks to his daughters search efforts, the medals earned 66 years ago are ready for their true home. Military and city officials want to recognize and honor Arnold for his service and present him with, at least, 9 medals. “His family, his daughter and son in law are driving all the way from Missouri to Bend to see Earl and to present him with his medals from that war. And so it’s going to be a great event. I look forward to meeting Earl and his family and welcoming his family to Bend.” Mayor Jeff Eager says Arnold was involved in several dangerous battles during World War II, including Pearl Harbor, Midway, the battle of the Coral Sea and many others.
He actually got off the destroyer just days before it was sunk by a typhoon. The ceremony is at the Bend Heroes Memorial in downtown Bend at 10 a.m., and is open to everyone.