104-year-old World War Two veteran receives recognition for military service
MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Sergeant Lawrence Butler, also known as Bill, served in the Army from 1941 to 1945.
The one hundred- and four-year-old veteran was a platoon sergeant and later a tank commander in the north African campaign and the Italian campaign during World War 2.
Bill was awarded multiple campaign medals and a World War 2 good conduct victory ribbon.
And an even more astonishing accomplishment is his age.
He turns one hundred and five this October.
The quilts of valor foundation honors active military members and veterans by showing them how much their sacrifice and service is appreciated.
They do that by awarding them a handmade quilt to provide comfort.
The organization started in 2003 by a blue star mother and has grown to become a national organization.
Erica Broecker is part of the leadership team for the organization.
“We've presented over 354,000 quilts to veterans. It is amazing to be able to do this and he's such an amazing person. We make these quilts to honor veterans for their service. And this gentleman's service is unsurpassed. And it's such an honor for us to be able to do this.”
Tuesday sergeant butler was at the VA clinic in Mishawaka for what he thought was just a regular appointment.
It turned into the ultimate surprise with his loved ones, quilts of valor, and the veteran's association all in attendance as he received his own quilt.
An excerpt from the ceremony reads:
"While we may never know the extent of your sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America, we award you this quilt of valor as an expression of gratitude from a grateful nation."
I had the pleasure of talking with sergeant butler.
He was overwhelmed with joy.
“Oh, this was this is marvelous. I never expected anything like this just to get my ears clean,” said the sergeant.
You could still see his spry personality.
“I'll pull around the bed right away. And I'm the only one that makes the bed.”
With the same amount of spunk, he had back in the day.
One thing's for sure, he's certainly, one of a kind.