KULR: WWII Veterans Honored

It was medal ceremony that should have taken place more than 60 years ago. Two World War II veterans were finally given what was rightfully theirs.

Two Montana veterans were honored Monday in Billings for their bravery during battle in WW II. The men have since passed away, so their families accepted on their behalf. “I think it’s unfortunate that they didn’t get them when they were supposed to, but better late than never. We’re making sure we’re living up to the promises, and it’s something we need to do when it comes to our fighting men and women,” Senator Jon Tester said.

Senator Jon Tester said thousands of military records were destroyed in a 1973 fire in St. Louis. He said documentation for the two men’s medals went up in smoke. They never received what they earned until now. “We’ve always been proud of our dad for what he did and what he went through, and it just makes you proud. I don’t know how to say it with any other way,” daughter of a WWII veteran, Louann, Cook said.

Louann Cook talked about her father, Raymond Deutscher. She and her sister, did some digging and found out about the fire and contacted Senator Tester about the medals that their father never received. “These folks are a part of the greatest generation to help make this country what it is today, and to be able to be a part of this medal ceremony with their ancestors is very humbling to me,” Senator Tester said.

Deutscher was awarded 8 medals on Monday, including a Purple Heart. He passed away earlier in 2011, but Cook said she felt her father’s presence during the ceremony, and knows he would have been very proud and happy. “I just think we should honor all of our vets and thank them for what they do, because without them we wouldn’t have what we have,” Cook said.

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