Veteran honored 65 years later

Millions of Americans are serving and have served in the Armed Forces, fighting for the rights and freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

Sadly, many times some of those soldiers go unrecognized for the amazing things they do or did.

But Saturday, May 8th, KHQA's Jarod Wells was with one United States Air Force Soldier while he was honored for his actions more than 60 years ago.

Technical Sergeant Clinton D. Osborne served as a B-29 gunner for the United States Air Force in World War II. On February 4th, 1945 Osborne's plane was shot down over the Pacific Ocean. When he heard a faint call for help, he disregarded his own safety and dove off the only life raft available to save his fellow soldier.

Congressman Phil Hare (D, IL-17) said, "He literally jumped out of the life raft to save somebody else. I mean that's heroism if I've ever seen it. For people like him, it's something that they've earned, but we as a nation owe them."

The paperwork for this event was either lost or never completed. So Sergeant Osborne went 65 years with out getting what was owed to him. He was finally recognized Saturday, May 8th. Congressman Phil Hare came to Kampsville, Illinois to recognize Osborne with the Soldier's Medal for his heroism.

Clinton Osborne said, "Well I think having all these people here in my honor is as much as receiving the medal. I mean you don't know how much this means to have these people come out. They're good friends and good people."

Commander of the Brussels American Legion Post 685 Bernard Snyders has been a friend of Osborne's for about 25 years. He feels everyone who served in World War II should received a medal for how rough they had it and is extremely happy for his friend.

Snyders said, "I received a Silver Star in Vietnam and I had it in 16 days. And this man had to wait 65 years to get his medal. It's just on honor to be with him."

Sergeant Osborne, from the Alton, Illinois area, says this medal IS important to him now, but it was not in 1945.

Osborne said, "Back at the time this happened, we were busy trying to win a war."

Congressman Phil Hare says no matter when you served or what branch of the armed forces you served in...if you think you have earned a medal, contact his office so you too can receive your proper recognition.