Amarillo Veteran awarded overdue Bronze Star 70 years after service

Amarillo Veteran awarded overdue Bronze Star 70 years after service

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A WWII and Korean War Veteran received an award, long overdue.

92-year-old Walter Boehm earned a Bronze Star in 1945 after fighting in WWII. And over 70 years later, he is just receiving the award, but you can bet he is just as proud.

Boehm fought in the Army and Air Force in WWII and the Korean War, he and his comrades often referred to as "The greatest generation." But an important piece of his past was never awarded to him.

He received the Bronze Star Medal, given for heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

And today, 70 later, he was finally given the award.

"I'm just really proud and I was surprised to see all these people here that I haven't seen in years and well it's just been great," says Boehm.

But why did it take so long? It seems Boehm is one of many on a list of people who didn't even know they earned the award. Times were also different, of course.

"The award system has been improved dramatically over the years, however we are finding out that there are veterans from previous wars that are still, unbeknownst to them they're awarded a medal and weren't aware of it, so we're glad to be able to get caught up and make those presentations for those individuals that were deserving of some recognition," says Retired U.S. Marine Diego Barela.

Barela says it was an honor to be able to present the award to Boehm. Boehm also received a flag, certificate, and book of his history.

Though Boehm was drafted, he says he is glad he served his time, and did so honorably.

"There's worse things than being in the service. I think the service would be good for lots of young people. It would do them a lot of good I think. You grow up a lot in that kind of environment."

Boehm was also recognized by Congressman Mac Thornberry for his special award.

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.