A 94-year-old World War II veteran and POW labor camp survivor was honored with several medals of distinction this week at a ceremony at Tulsa International Airport, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news source, Phillip Coon, a resident of Sapulpa, Okla., served in the Army as an infantry machine gunner. During the war, he was stationed in the Pacific, fighting in the Philippines and surviving the infamous Bataan Death March. Coon was sent to a POW camp in Kosaka, Japan, and recently visited the site to strengthen understanding among Japanese and U.S. citizens, the news outlet reported. 

"I've been blessed to come this far in life," Coon said during the ceremony. "I thank the Lord for watching over me."

Coon received the Prisoner of War Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and a Bronze Star for his service. According to the news source, Coon was long overdue for these honors, and it remains uncertain why he had not received them earlier. David Rule, a Tulsa-based veteran who has helped more than 150 veterans receive their service distinctions, told the news outlet that he helped Coon secure his deserved honors.

The Medals of America states that any servicemember that was captured and held prisoner while on active duty after 1917 is eligible to receive the Prisoner of War Medal.