France seeks U.S. veterans to recognize

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

France wants to honor living World War II veterans who fought there with the French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of their sacrifice.
Mississippi veteran service offices and the French organization at the University of Southern Mississippi are helping with the project, working to identify veterans who would qualify and helping those veterans complete the paperwork.
The distinguished decoration honors “the special contribution and act of bravery of American servicemen” during France’s liberation in World War II, wrote USM’s Keltoum Rowland in disseminating the information.
“We veteran service officers in each county are happy to help anyone apply for and receive the recognition they deserve,” said Pat Ray of Alcorn County.
Rowland is a French citizen whose husband is a U.S. serviceman, and she is working closely with the student organization on this project.
The requirements to send with the application for the medal include:
n A written summary of the campaign in France in which the serviceman participated, with the dates and location where the fighting occurred, along with the service member’s division or unit and job.
n A copy of both sides of the honorable discharge document that shows proof of service in France between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945. Only living veterans may apply.
n A copy of any decorations presented to the service member or unit, including Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Congressional Medal of Honor, French Croix de Guerre/French Fourragere and so forth.
n Any other appropriate information, including newspaper articles, books, etc., describing the serviceman’s actions in France during World War II.
“It is really significant that France wants to do this,” Ray said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.