HERNANDO — Some 65 years and “20-something” grand- and great-grandchildren after the World War II, Army veteran Morris Case of Walls has been presented with six medals.
The ceremony was held Tuesday at the DeSoto County courthouse in Hernando.
The Commercial Appeals reports the 89-year-old Memphis, Tenn., native was presented the medals by Democratic U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, whose office worked through the red tape to get the medals to Casey.
The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal recalled Casey’s service in the 78th “Lightning” Division that brought him and other soldiers to England, then to France in November 1944, then to Belgium and Germany.
The Bronze Star and Purple Heart brought back memories of the Battle of the Bulge and the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine, where he was wounded in March 1945.
After some six weeks recuperating from wounds in a hospital in Belgium, Casey was headed back to the front when the European war ended in May 1945. He went home to wife Sarah, now 87. In the postwar hubbub, the medals he earned never made the trip; his inquiries were tangled in red tape and lost records.
“If I wanted them I’d have to buy them,” he said.
Casey lived in Memphis up to his retirement from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. plant and moved to Walls, just south of Memphis in north Mississippi.
Walls also was presented with then American Campaign, Good Conduct and World War II Victory medals, plus a Presidential Unit Citation and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Childers said his office also is looking into the battlefield commission that Casey, then a sergeant, was promised when he led two dozen men and two howitzers of his decimated unit in assaults on a Nazi-held dam and other positions.
Casey said he used to attend division reunions. Once thousands came, “but at the last one, I think there were just 27 there. There’s not many of us left.”
Where will he put his medals?
“I’ll have to see where the kids want to put them,” Casey said. “There won’t be any fuss. When you get to my age you don’t fight. I don’t try to get ugly any more.”
The Associated Press