World War II Vet Earns Long-Overdue Promotion
Posted November 12, 2007 12:26 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2007 12:52 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.