Army Veteran Thomas H. Kochanek is today's Veteran of the day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Thomas H. Kochanek, who served as a medic in New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan during World War II.

In 1941, the Army drafted Thomas Kochanek to become a medic. After training, Kochanek spent most of his time in New Guinea with the 107th Medical Battalion. As a medic, he provided immediate medical care to men wounded on the front lines. He carried a pack filled with medical supplies, such as band-aids and morphine, and sometimes had to carry litters and transport men to a hospital.

It was a dangerous job, and Kochanek remembered the Japanese often targeting medics and officers. As a result, he refused to wear his medic helmet, preferring a bandana instead.

After two years in New Guinea, Kochanek went to the Philippines. At one point during this campaign, his group of medics faced mortar attacks. Kochanek sustained a minor injury and received a Purple Heart. After fighting in the Philippines, Kochanek went to Japan after the war ended, and soon discharged and sent home.

After serving, Kochanek found work at Cadillac, and retired after 30 years. He died in 2008.

 We honor his service.

More of his story can be found at:

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Savannah Labbe

Editor: Kaylee Hogsed

Fact checker: Vivian Hurney

Graphic artist: Lilian Vo

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Published on Apr. 16, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 108

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network April 16, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    We honor the service of Thomas Kochanek.

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