Raco family receives father’s Purple Heart

PHOTOS PROVIDED At top, at the recent Purple Heart ceremony honoring the memory of Dominic J. Raco are, from left, Susque-View chaplain Dennis Callahan, Central Mountain sophomore Cassidy Triponey, Susan Bardo, veteran Sean MacMillen who served as emcee, Dominic Raco’s son Bill Raco and Central Mountain senior Dale Fye. The two students took on the ceremony as their senior project. Above right, Mark Raco sits next to the drawing of father, Dominic J. Raco.

LOCK HAVEN — Dominic J. Raco, a young man serving in World War II, was wounded in action by an enemy grenade.

He should have received a Purple Heart, but the medal never caught up to him.

The oldest of five children, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from June 1, 1943 to July 27, 1945. When he came home from the battlefields, he went on with his life, as did many other veterans of that particular war. He married, had children, worked and resided in Pittsburgh, moved his family to this area where he managed the truck stop at Lamar, and after a full life, died at the age of 72.

More than 70 years later, his Purple Heart arrived, and was presented posthumously in a ceremony organized by Central Mountain High School students Dale Fye and Cassidy Triponey.

Raco’s five children gathered in Susque-View’s indoor atrium for the ceremony, including Janine Raco Bruno of Lock Haven and son Bill Raco of the Beech Creek area, who volunteers at Susque-View and who accepted the medal.