Delbert Belton survived the island-hopping campaign in the South Pacific during World War, collecting a Purple Heart along the way, only to be beaten to death in what police are calling a random attack by two black teens as he went to meet friends:

WWII veteran Delbert Belton survived being wounded in action during the Battle of Okinawa only to be beaten and left for dead by two teens at the Eagles Lodge in Spokane on Wednesday evening.

Belton, 88, succumbed to his injuries Thursday morning at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Witnesses say Belton was in the parking lot of the Eagles Lodge at 6410 N. Lidgerwood, adjacent to the Eagles Ice-A-Rena, around 8 p.m. Wednesday when the two male suspects attacked him as he was about to head inside to play pool.

Police responded with K-9s to track the suspects’ scent but were not able to locate them.

“It does appear random. He was in the parking lot, it appears he was assaulted in the parking lot and there was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault,” Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.

Belton died from his injuries Thursday morning at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

One has to wonder: if Delbert Belton produced a handgun at the onset of this random attack by two “thrill-kill” cowards, would he still be alive?