World War II veteran receives France's highest military honor

Muscatine resident receives Legion of Honor for his bravery

BLUE GRASS, Iowa - In 1943, at the age of 20, Donald Cawiezell was drafted into the U.S. Army. 
"You get a letter from the government, saying your friends and your neighbors have selected you and then you're in the service," says WWII veteran Donald Cawiezell.  
Cawiezell was part of the 94th Infantry Division and in 1944 they landed in France.
Weeks after troops stormed Normandy. 
"I think it was 17 months overseas," says Cawiezell.  
During his time in France, Cawiezell fought in several battles all over the country. 
Most importantly, in battles in Western France between Allied forces and Germany.
"This is a very important part in WWII history, which is less known than the landing itself, but played an equally important contribution to the final victory and the liberation of my country," says Chicago based France Counsel General Guillame Lacroix. 
More than 70 years after his service, in a ceremony surrounded by family and his fellow Blue Grass American Legion Family,  Cawiezell received the Legion of Honor.
 The highest military honor given by the French government. 
"We want to thank all the heroes that played such an important role in our history," says Lacroix. "Mr. Cawiezell belongs to the greatest generation of America and we know what we owe to the people of the greatest generation." 
"It's a big deal when you do something, and we're honored to do those things for our veterans, to honor them when they need to be honored" says Adjutant Wayne Kraft. "
Although he's happy to be honored, Cawiezell wants others to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"I went through the war and came out without a scratch, so I was one of the lucky ones," says Cawiezell. "It's just some of the ones that passed should have some of this honor also."


 


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