A World War II veteran who was to be recognized during could not make it to his own affair, after a cardiac episode Thursday left him hospitalized — but his son says Michael Warchola is expected to recover and be released from the hospital by the end of the week.
The Southampton Village Board chooses one local veteran each year to honor on Memorial Day with a proclamation; this year, it was 92-year-old Warchola.
Warchola was born in Johnstown, Penn., in November 1918 and came of age during the Great Depression. In an interview last week before he entered the hospital, he said that when he was about 17 years old he joined the Merchant Marines. He served for 10 years and traveled throughout the world — too many countries to name, he said. He rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant commander.
Later in life, he split his time between New York City and Southampton, and now lives in Southampton Village full time.
He had two sons, Dennis, a retired New York City firefighter, and Michael Jr, also a firefighter, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 just days away from retirement.
Dennis Warchola accepted the proclamation Monday on his father's behalf and said following the ceremony that he would be bringing it by to show him.
He said his father also a "a touch of pneumonia," but by Sunday was breathing on his own.