LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - A Lawton veteran was awarded with the French Legion of Honor. It’s the French government’s most prestigious award.
Joe Guerrero fought in some of the most notable battles in American history, including the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle for Brest. Wednesday, he was honored for his efforts in helping liberate France.
“Somebody had to do it and I thought well I better do my part in it if I’m going to live in this country, I better do my part in it. I was just lucky that nothing happened to me,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero was stationed across the United States, as well as in England, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland and Sweden. He has tons of stories from those years, including his time serving under General George Patton.
“General Patton, he was hard to beat. He should have been our president. He woke us up at 3 in the morning and he said we’re going to take Germany tonight. Well we didn’t think we could do that but then we did. At about six o’clock that evening we were sitting at the Rhine River in Germany,” Guerrero said.
Wednesday, Guerrero was honored for his service by becoming a Knight of the Legion of Honor. The award, which was created in 1802 by Napoleon, was presented to Guerrero by a representative from the French consulate.
“The Legion of Honor is the highest, most prestigious French decoration. It is awarded to a person who has shown great virtue and courage in the service of French. Of course, those veterans have contributed to the liberation of my country, France, and the President of the Republic wanted to recognize their merits,” said French Consul General Alexis Andres.
Several of Guerrero’s family members and friends attended the ceremony.
“I appreciate them doing that. I appreciate all the people who came. It makes me feel like people care, some people care,” Guerrero said.
Two other Oklahoma veterans also received the award. Raul Jack Delier and Robert Bickerstaff.