KENOSHA -- World War II veteran George Michel is surprised by an honor that 's 66 years overdue, a victory medal. The annual Veterans Day recognition assembly at Kenosha's Stocker Elementary School was a typical event until Michel was called to the podium.
Michel never received the victory medal despite his service during World War II. That was a problem Jim Lentz set out to solve. "The more I got to know him, the more I wanted to get that medal for him," said Lentz.
Michel flew his first mission on a B24 Bomber into France five days after D-Day. Michel says, "When we flew over the channel on that first mission. I have never seen so many boats."
A months later Michel's bomber was shot down. He became an internee, a prisoner of war in a neutral country. Six months later he was able to escape with the help of the French resistance. He was discharged in 1944, the year before the victory medal was first authorized.
Michel had no idea he missed out on the medal. Michel's honor was amplified thanks to his daughter, who is a teacher at Stoker Elementary School. She was able to get most of the family to Kenosha for the ceremony.
If you know of any veterans that earned the victory medal but did not receive it, contact your local VA Office for help.