From a contemporary press report
Stephen J. Mihalak, a retired Marine Corps CWO-4, died on January 7, 2000, at the age of 81.
His military career lasted 30 years and included combat duty in WWII, Korean and Vietnam. He received the Purple Heart on May 18, 1943 after being wounded in action on the island of Okinawa. He served his country in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
During WWII, he served on the islands of Guadalcanal, Guam, Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls; in Korea at the Chosin Reservoir and in Vietnam at Da Nang.
His other military awards included the American Defense with one star, the American Theater, the Asiatic-Pacific Theaterwith one Silver Star, Naval Unit Commendation, National Defense Service with one Star, Vietnamese Service Medal with one Star, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, Navy Achievement with Combat V and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. He also received a letter of commendation signed personally by Admiral Nimitz for his courage under fire and devotion to duty while fighting Japanese forces on Parry Island.
After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1970, he served as a corrections fficer for the state of Georgia and also served as a Marshall for Fulton County and as a Deputy Sheriff for DeKalb County. He was a member of the Elks, Knights of Columbus, American Legion 66 and VFW 5257.
He is survived by his wife, Martha Mihalak; three sons, Stephen J. Jr., Edward and Marvin Mihalak; daughter, Susan Bledsoe; one brother, Albert Mihalak; one sister, Anne Suytak; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Monday, January 10, 2000 at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1:30 p.m. Graveside services will be held Thursday, January 20, 2000 at Arlington National Cemetery at 3 p.m. with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the WWII Memorial Campaign, Courthouse Plaza II, Suite 501, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201, 1-800-639-4992.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard