UPDATE: Coleridge, NE man honored with medals earned during Worl - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Coleridge, NE man honored with medals earned during World War II service


It's been almost seven decades since World War II ended, but that fight for our freedom will never be forgotten.

And, Wednesday, one Siouxland man was finally recognized for his efforts in the war.

Gilbert Brummels, who's considered modest by those closest to him, rarely spoke of his time in the Navy during World War II.

"We just knew that he'd seen a lot of action in the service and knew that he was deserving of these awards," Gilbert Brummels' son Robert Brummels said.

"I never expected it. They're wonderful. I'm glad to have them," Gilbert Brummels said.

When asked about his role in the war, Brummels said he doesn't think he did anything too spectacular, and that's part of the reason he doesn't bring it up much.

"I just was along for the ride. I tried to forget it," Gilbert Brummels said.

But, those memories he tried to leave behind, including his time spent on ships like the U.S.S. Reid, and battles like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, made a big difference.

"I was on an LST, that's a landing ship tank, and he was on a destroyer, and we needed some protection when we were traveling on the ocean and his destroyer protected the convoy that we were in," World War II Veteran Elroy Hefner said.

Long-time friend of Gilbert Brummels, Elroy Hefner, said Brummels' protection is why he and his fellow mates lived to see another day.

"I would say that Gilbert saved our lives by protecting us when we were in this convoy," Hefner said.

And, even though, Brummels doesn't consider himself a hero, the campaign medals and good conduct medal speak for themselves. That's why Senator Johanns office worked to get them in the right hands.

"We basically contacted the national archives and let them know that there's a 98-year-old veteran that has not received his medals, since he left the service," Constituent Service Representative for Senator Mike Johanns Alan Wang said.

Children, grand-children, and great-grand-children came out to show their support at the awards ceremony for the man who fought bravely for our freedom.

"We're just proud of him, very proud of him," Robert Brummels said.

Sixty-nine years later, these medals are back where they belong with Gilbert Brummels.

Brummels said he will find a special spot to hang the medals in his home in Coleridge.

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