France awards World War II vets Legion of Honor medal

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frenchHOUSTON, TX – Veterans’ Day ceremonies at Minute Maid Park began with The Greatest Generation.

“America would not be here I’m afraid if not for these veterans that fought in World War II,” says Tresa West.

The Houston French Consulate awarded 8 U.S. World War Two veterans, who fought the Germans in France, the French Legion of Honor Medal. The award is France’s highest decoration for merit or bravery.

Chester ‘Buck’ Sloan was one of the recipients, “I went in at Normandy and all the way across to the Battle of the Bulge and that’s where I got wounded- in the Battle of the Bulge. A hand grenade got me.”

‘They’re very proud. They don’t boast about anything they’ve done but they felt called and they went,” says West of her dad, UJ King who was also honored. “We’re very proud that he was able to do his duty and return home to us.”

Edwin Wheeler’s family proudly posed for a family picture after he was recognized.

Wheeler, who landed on Utah Beach in July 1944 with the 80th Infantry, has talked to his grandchildren about the Second World War, “I did tell them some parts of it. I couldn’t tell them all of it.”

Nearly 300, 000 American soldiers died in World War II. ‘That’s what this medal is for.

“I’m accepting it for the ones that didn’t come back,” says Buck Sloan.

Other veterans awarded the Legion of Honor Medal were: Theodore Noel, William Pena, Marshana Hatch, Charles Conaway, Hillard Bielat and Elmer Denson who passed away a few weeks ago.

The Greatest Generation may be fading, but they will never be forgotten.