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Two area World War II veterans received French Legion of Honor medals for helping defeat Germany.
Blond H. Puckett and James Calvin Sarver received the honors May 14 before a group of family and fellow vets gathered at Pritchard Community Center.
Dave Jarrett, a veteran service officer for Disabled American Veterans, worked with the French Consulate in Chicago on the presentation. Those who receive the award – which Napoleon established – are considered knights of the French Republic.
American World War II veterans became eligible for the medal in 2004.
“It’s taken a fairly long time for our WWII vets to be recognized by France,” Jarrett said. “The French people are now acknowledging our contribution to their freedom.”
He read letters from the French consul general in Chicago.
“Through this award, the French government pays tribute to those soldiers who did so much for France and Western Europe,” it says. “For us, the French people, they are heroes.”
David Worley, executive director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans’ Centers, presented the medals, which will add to the two veterans’ array of American honors.