US WWII Veteran Honored by France for Service

by Samantha Whidden

French Ambassador Philippe Etienne has reportedly awarded U.S. WWII veteran, Garland James, with the French Legion of Honor medal for his service on the shores of France.

According to Phoenix, Arizona’s 12 News, Etienne traveled to Gold Canyon in Far East Valley earlier this week to present the U.S. Army veteran with the special award for his service on the French beaches. “We are truly grateful for the way you faced your destiny as it has required incredible courage, a strong sense of duty, and of self-sacrifice.”

The French Legion of Honor Medal was presented to the veteran for his distinguished service. James, who is now 100 years old, stated described the medal as being a nice one. He notably served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division Field Hospital. He even participated in the landing in Normandy on D-Day. “I took care of the wounded. I [herd] my Colonel around and the nurses.”

Among the veteran’s duties during WWII was transporting the wounded to the field hospitals. Which were located not far away from the front lines.  He also had to transport the dead in his Jeep or ambulance. He also recalled seeing General Dwight D. Eisenhower near the front lines. “Pretty good when the commander’s right there.”

The veteran served for three years in the U.S. Army. He said he’s proud of his service to the country. “Well, that meant a lot to me.”

President Joe Biden Speaks About the Passing of the Oldest Surviving U.S. WWII Veteran

Following the news that the oldest U.S. WWII Veteran, Lawrence Brooks, passed away at the age of 112, President Joe Biden took to Twitter to offer his condolence to Brooks’ loved ones. 

“I’m saddened to learn that Lawrence Brooks, who was the oldest surviving U.S. WWII veteran, has passed,” President Biden declared in his post. “I had the honor of speaking with him last year. And He was truly the best of America. I’m keeping his loved ones in my prayers.”

President Biden also posted the video of him having a conversation with the late U.S. veteran.

As previously reported, Brooks passed away on Wednesday (January 5th) in his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. The veteran’s daughter and caregiver, Vanessa Brooks, revealed that his health had been declining over the past few months. He was constantly in and out of the local veteran’s hospital due to the health issues he was experiencing. 

Brooks was notably drafted into the U.S. Army in 1940. The veteran served in his home state of Louisiana as well as in Teas. Although he completed his obligatory one-year service, he decided to rejoin the Army and upon finishing his mandatory service, the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. 

During an interview with the National World War II Museum, Brooks stated the U.S. called and recruited him once again. “There was no question. They just came right back and to me again.”