FIRE LATEST: Firefighters Enter Day 14 Of Thomas FireClosures And Evacuations Live Blog | Listen Live | Full Coverage #CBSLAHelps: CBSLA teamed up with the American Red Cross to raise money for victims of the Southern California firestorms. Click Here to donate! You can also text CBSLAHELPS to 75759 to learn more. Celebrity Guests | Full Recap

COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — A Costa Mesa great-grandfather was awarded France’s highest civilian honor nearly seventy years after he enlisted to fight in World War II.

David Lester, a 94-year-old war former combat engineer, was awarded the Legion of Honor, together with five other U.S. Army veterans. The accolade is the highest award France gives its citizens and foreign nationals.

“My outfit was the first to liberate Holland, the first to liberate Belgium and the first to invade Germany,” Lester told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler.

And as an active member of the Freedom Committee, which teaches school children about the war, Lester has finally put his story to paper.

“Freedom isn’t free,” said Lester. “We had some people that really, really paid the price.”

His story begins in the Great Depression, and chronicles the battles that earned him two bronze stars and a purple heart.

“I didn’t know how to be a soldier,” said Lester. “But they made me one.”

But more than the medals, Lester said most important is the legacy he fought so hard to leave behind as “grandpa.”

“Actually, a great-grandpa,” he said.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

facebook.com/CBSLA
Plan Your Trip

Watch & Listen LIVE