Colorado’s Oldest World War II Veteran Earns Prestigious Silver Star Award
Talk about incredible (and incredibly well deserved) - a 107-year-old Colorado man & World War II veteran was just awarded one of the nation's highest honors for valor in combat.
On Tuesday morning (Oct. 4), Harold Nelson was honored with a Silver Star at Fort Carson.
About The Silver Star Recipient
According to 9News, Sgt. 1st Class Harold Nelson was drafted into the United States Army on July 14, 1941. At age 26, he was considered one of the oldest trainees.
During his time in the Army, Nelson served with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, and 3rd Infantry Division. Not to mention, Nelson earned himself two Purple Hearts during his service.
"I guess the good Lord was looking after me," Nelson said. "I made six amphibious invasions under enemy fire, and there’s nobody lived that long, I don’t believe.”
Nelson tells 9News that he was shot three times during World War II, and even had his appendix removed during the war - but that didn't keep him away from the battlefield for long. Nelson proved his strength and undeniable respect and love for this country by returning to the battlefield, even after sustaining serious battle wounds and undergoing surgery.
I think it's safe to say that Sgt. Nelson is beyond deserving to receive an honor as high as this one.
About The Silver Star
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces.
It is awarded for gallantry in action:
- While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
- While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
"1st Sgt. Nelson more than earned it," said Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division.
Nelson's family gathered Tuesday morning for the ceremony that has been decades in the making.
You can view footage of the ceremony via 9News below:
"It happened, and it’s amazing that it happened while he’s still here with us," Carolee Soden, Nelson's daughter told 9News.
Nearly 80 years after his service, Nelson is the latest recipient of the Silver Star.
"I can’t believe it," Nelson said. "I didn’t know I was that important."