100-year-old WWII Army veteran receives prestigious military award from France

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KING, Wis. (WFRV) A 100-year-old U.S. Army veteran was honored by the French government on Sunday for his service overseas in World War II.

Robert Reigel was awarded the “Knight of the Legion of Honor” at the Wisconsin Veterans Home. The prestigious award, which was established in 1802, is the highest French order of military merits and it pays tribute to soldiers who helped liberate France and Western Europe during WWII.

The award was presented by Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France in Chicago.

Reigel enlisted with the Army in 1943 and was deployed overseas to serve in WWII. During the war, he served in four battles and was deployed to France, England, Italy and Bavaria. He is a decorated veteran, having earned the Victory Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with four Bronze Battle Stars, two Overseas Service Bars and a Good Conduct Medal. He retired from the Army with a Technician Fifth Grade rank.

His family says the award is something they’ll cherish for a very long time.

“It’s just a beautiful ceremony,” said his son Charles Reigel. “Very well done, and I think it speaks well for the French government that they do this. It’s a high honor, I really think it’s terrific honor.”

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