French government to honor Alabama WWII veterans

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A small group of WWII veterans will make a trip to Birmingham Tuesday.

The French government will give them its highest award -- the Legion of Honor -- for helping to liberate France.

We spoke with John Kraus, one of those veterans. He joined the army as a young man and picked up a few accolades along the way.

He says of the award, "Jeez, seventy years, they decided to give me a medal." He laughs.

He certainly put in the work for it - campaign after campaign.

Kraus remembers, "There were five, and I was in all five. I outlived everybody."

As army infantry at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, you understand why he's gotten a few recognitions.

Kraus points out, "The losses are ninety-five percent infantry."

Infantry, just like Kraus.

With the weight of that experience, you can marvel at his jovial approach to some weighty advice.

He actually laughs when he says, "Just pray that there's never another war. It's no fun."

Kraus will join Marion Gibson and Mac Lackey, both from Huntsville.

Joe Berry from Alexander City will also be honored at the ceremony.