Austin Dillehay figures he’s in a pretty unique situation.
The Hamlet resident, is, like many other Richmond County men and women, a World War II veteran. He’s 92 years old — a milestone that also might not be too uncommon.
Dillehay guesses, however, that he might be the only World War II veteran with a proclamation from theFrench government recognizing his efforts during combat.
Dillehay served in the 76th Infantry Division, 302d Field Artillery. On Tuesday, a day after Veterans Day, Dillehay he sat proudly with his medals and French proclamation received for his time in the Army.
The proclamation was awarded to Dillehay by the French Republic Department of Defense. Loosely translated, it reads, “Recognition of France toward allied armed soldiers, engaged in fighting the landing in Normandy and the Liberation for the years of 1944 through 1945.”
Medals awarded to Dillehay include; American Campaign, World War II, European American Middle Eastern Campaign and Efficiency Fidelity Honor.
Dillehay enlisted in the U.S. Army at just 20 years old in 1942.