A Native American WWII veteran, Paul Coon, passed away at 95 on June 23, 2014. Coon was a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, a culture that claimed extensive territory in the Southeastern U.S. before 1500 AD, according to the official Muscogee website. Coon was the last surviving Native American involved in the Baataan Death March, during which the Japanese military forced tens of thousands of soldiers on a 65-mile voyage in the Philippines in 1942. He also survived a prisoner of war labor camp in Japan, for which he received his war honors. Principal Chief George Tiger of the Muscogee tribe commented in a statement about the recent death of the servicemember.

"He always told me that he felt like he was able to overcome the Death March because of his faith and because he knew people back home were praying for him. He had a lot of things to say about life, about the Creek Nation," Tiger said in a news release. "We were honored as the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to have him as a tribal citizen. I think Indian Country was honored to have him being who he was."

Before his death, Coon was able to visit the POW site that he was held at in Japan. Now, the vacant site is next to a former copper mine. He was able to meet with the mayor of the town, Kosaka, where he was forced to work in during the war. Japanese government officials then had the chance to apologize to Coon and others in life after service for their mistreatment during the war. 

Fox News reported that upon returning to his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was awarded with the Prisoner of War medal, Bronze Star, and a Combat Infantryman Badge in an informal ceremony.

"I've been blessed to come this far in life," Fox reported Coon said at the time. "I thank the Lord for watching over me."