Local vet honored for service in WWII

November 11, 2009 3:10:08 PM PST
A Zion native was honored on Wednesday for his extraordinary heroism and courage at the Battle of the Bulge during World War IICongressman Mark Kirk presented army veteran Clifford "Kip" LaBelle with the Distinguished Service Cross. It's one of the nation's highest military medals.

Labelle earned the medal more than 60 years ago but never received it until his relatives asked the congressman to officially present it to him on Veterans Day.

The 84-year-old LaBelle performed many acts of heroism including fighting from an exposed position for eight hours to hold off the initial German assault.

"If there's anything important to a soldier in the heat of the battle when his life is on the line and he has very little chance of surviving is the thought that will anyone, someone anywhere ever know about this and appreciate what I've done," said LaBelle.

LaBelle is now a retired attorney. Many proud members of his family were for the presentation.


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