November 11, 2009
Source: ABC 7
WWII Army machine gunner Clifford “Kip” LaBelle (84) was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism and courage at the Battle of the Bulge. The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military honor behind the Medal of Honor and is awarded for “extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force”.
Not sure why it took so long to get to him, but his family asked that Rep Mark Kirk officially present it to him on Veterans Day.
It’s too bad I couldn’t find the video clip I saw on the news because it was very moving to hear Mr LaBelle say these words. Words he could only say with his eyes closed.
I’m very grateful for this honor. But most important of all, I think, to me is that you’ve made me feel appreciated for what I went through in WWII.
If there’s anything important to a soldier in the heat of the battle, when his life is on the line and he has very little chance of surviving, is the thought that will anyone, someone anywhere ever know about this and appreciate what I’ve done.