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Culture Beat / Oct. 6, 2020

Vet Receives WWII Medals 74 Years Later

Arthur Brodin earned several decorations for serving in the U.S. Army in Europe.

World War II ended 75 years ago, but a 97-year-old U.S. Army veteran finally received recognition. Private First Class Arthur Brodin was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946 after enlisting in 1943 and serving in Europe, including bomb placement in preparation for D-Day (during which he survived a glider crash) and the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned home, he never thought about the medals he may have earned.

According to the Highland Ranch Herald, a local Colorado paper, “His family only learned Brodin should have some medals as they made preparations in the spring for him to go on a private group tour of the battle sites he’d fought at in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.”

Told by the tour guide to wear his medals, his family realized he should have some but didn’t. The Herald notes, “Brodin has now received the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and Bronze Star Attachment (Triple), the WW2 Victory Medal, the Army Occupation Medal and Germany Clasp, the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, and the Marksman Badge and Rifle Bar.”

As Colorado Representative Ken Buck put it, “The Greatest Generation has been ignored for a long time, and because of Art and his fellow soldiers and Marines and airmen, we enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy. It’s great for us in a time when we are divided like this to look back and see a time when our country came together to take on a struggle.”

And Brodin’s son Robert, himself a Navy veteran, said, “He probably could live out his days and not even blink an eye, but it’s these medals and these stories that people need to understand.”

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