97-year-old WWII veteran helps unveil new monument at Rock Island Arsenal

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Walter Lehman, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, just got the chance to help unveil a new monument at the Rock Island Arsenal that honors his infantry division.

Lehman served in the Army’s Americal Division, the first United States Army unit to go on the offensive in World War II. The Americal Division has been activated three times before, including in World War II, the Cold War and most recently in the Vietnam War. Lehman was there the first time the Americal Division was activated back in 1942 in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lehman and plenty other Americal Division veterans in attendance were happy to see the memory of their division live on.

“Tremendous, really,” said Lehman. “Yeah, tremendous … we like to remember those things, and they’ll always be remembered, that’s for sure.”

“As a part of the Americal legacy foundation’s mission to preserve the legacy, monument such as this and other permanent remembrances are a key component,” said Roger Gilmore, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Americal Division.

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