Tuskegee soldier gets Congressional Gold Medal after 41 years of - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tuskegee soldier gets Congressional Gold Medal after 41 years of service

Mr. Freeman with his Congressional Gold Medal. He calls it "The Baby". Mr. Freeman with his Congressional Gold Medal. He calls it "The Baby".
Mr. Freeman being presented with the Congressional Gold Medal by Congressman Mike Rogers. Mr. Freeman being presented with the Congressional Gold Medal by Congressman Mike Rogers.
TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -

Ahead of Veterans Day, an Alabama soldier who served 41 years in the U.S. military received the highest award an American can get from the federal government for valor.

Robert Freeman was trained along with other African-Americans at "Montford Point Camp" in the 1940s. The training was done there to minimize racial disturbance with other, white soldiers.

Despite not being seen as an equal, Freeman and other Montford Point Marines played a critical role during World War II.

Friday, Freeman was given the honor he deserves for his action. U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) presented Freeman with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Freeman, 87, moved to Tuskegee after being honorably discharged from the military. He graduated from Tuskegee University and worked at the VA Medical Center for four decades!

"It was a few years behind," Freeman said of the medal, but with a smile added, "but I really appreciate it." He said it was rough serving in the military but it was an honor.

Freeman said of the medal ceremony," I was speechless."

"We have so many heroes that have fought for our country, many have died," said Congressman Rogers, adding that it is a very special thing to be able to take a hero and honor them in front of their community. "Particularly when you've got an older individual like [Mr. Freeman]."

Rogers says some think they've been forgotten, "but they're not. They're our heroes and we're so proud of them."

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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