Local News

World War II Vet Earns Long-Overdue Promotion

Posted November 12, 2007

— A local veteran received a promotion Monday more than six decades after he earned it.

James Creech joined the Army at age 18, became a squad leader and was later captured by the Germans during World War II. He spent 154 days as a prisoner of war, and because of that, paperwork for his promotion to staff sergeant was never completed.

A 13-year-old neighbor, Chase Shermer, was completing a school assignment on World War II when he learned of Creech's misplaced paperwork. He and his family contacted the office of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole to press for Creech's promotion.

Because of those efforts, the North Carolina National Guard presented Creech with a staff sergeant insignia on Monday, the day after Veterans Day, in a ceremony at North Raleigh Christian Academy.

"I virtually had given up," a smiling Creech said after the ceremony. "Over time, after a while, you think, 'Well, it's never going to happen.'  But it did."

"I never thought (the promotion) would come, but it did, and I'm very proud," Chase said.

Creech expressed his gratitude to Chase and his family and to Dole for their work to set the record straight about his military service.


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  • dell Nov 13, 2007

    A SALUTE to you, SSG Creech.

  • Myword Nov 12, 2007

    My father was from Raleigh and served in WWII....I am sure he would want me to say Congrats Staff Sergeant!

  • Scarecrow Cow Nov 12, 2007

    THANK you to SSGT Creech and to ALL vets!!

  • 1Moms_View Nov 12, 2007

    Congratulations SSGT Creech on finally getting your promotion. Thank you for your service to our country and your community. I hope this young man realizes what an important thing he did with his project. He seems to realize the importance of our Vets and the gratitude they deserve.

  • Dido Nov 12, 2007

    To Staff Sgt. Creech: Thank you for your service to this country!
    To the Shermer family: Thank you for bringing this man's story to the forefront, so he could receive the promotion he deserved.

  • gnew46 Nov 12, 2007

    This is a great story, especially to be announced on the extended Veteran's Day weekend. Hats off to the young man for taking this on as a project and congratulations to Staff Sergeant Creech for a long over due promotion. He should get back pay at this rank. He earned it.

  • momofthreeinFV Nov 12, 2007

    Now this is a great story! I wish we could hear more stories just like it!!!

  • ranquick Nov 12, 2007

    This is kind of story that make you sit and say you are sso pround of thise who serve for us to have the Freedom we have. As a Vet I thank the young gentleman behind this.

  • IHave1-2 Nov 12, 2007

    Kudos to the student. Congratulations, sir, on your promotion.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Nov 12, 2007

    Congradulations! Well deserved. How many other soldiers from the past that should be honored in this manner. Plus, it is never to late for anything. This young man should get an A+ for all his work. :)