World War II veteran receives Bronze Star 76 years after the war

"Americans of your character pulled together as a team, endured much in combat, defeated our enemies to insure our freedom and prosperity."
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- It is an honor long overdue. Seventy-six years after a World War II battle in France, 95-year-old Eldon Knuth was awarded a Bronze Star. Army Maj. Gen. Laura Yeager was happy to deliver the medal at a recent ceremony in Thousand Oaks.

"Americans of your character pulled together as a team, endured much in combat, defeated our enemies to insure our freedom and prosperity," Yeager said.

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Knuth was a 19-year-old private in the Army. His unit was trapped behind enemy lines in the dead of winter. For five days, they struggled to survive before finally being rescued by reinforcements.

Yeager says the World War II vet is an inspiration for everyone in the military.

"Your example shows just how strong we can be, and how important it is to never stop seeking a better future," Yeager said.

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It was a change in Army regulations that made Knuth eligible for the Bronze Star. Decades later, he learned about his eligibility from a veteran's group who also contacted the Army. Yeager says it is not just his years in the service the military is honoring. After the war Knuth, went on to become a UCLA professor.

"You are a man of success, value and an absolute inspiration," Yeager said.

For his bravery in battle and life dedicated to learning, ABC7 salutes Eldon Knuth.

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