Local News

Local WWII veteran gets Bronze Star

Posted August 21, 2011 11:48 p.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2011 6:49 a.m. EDT

— An 85-year-old World War II veteran from Selma finally received the Bronze Star Medal he earned more than six decades ago, thanks to a Moore County nonprofit.

The Veteran's Legacy Foundation helps veterans and their families apply for military awards that were earned but never received.  

In a ceremony on the steps of the Johnston County Courthouse Sunday, the foundation did just that for retired Army Staff Sgt. Willard B. Hinnant, who served in a division that was famous for the Battle of the Bulge and storming the beaches of Normandy.

Hinnant said the ceremony meant a lot to him.

"We haven't been forgotten; that's the big thing," he said.

The Veteran's Legacy Foundation has tracked down historical records to award long-overdue medals to more than 30 veterans. John Elskamp, the organization's leader, said the process never loses its excitement.

"When it finally comes up to a ceremony like this, it makes it all worth it," he said.