WWII veteran Jack Plylar was one of the honorees at the 2013 Elizabeth Stampede Red White and Blue Rodeo. This month during a ceremony at the Colorado State Capitol, he and four others were awarded France’s Legion of Honor medal.
The Order of Légion d’Honneur is the highest decoration in France. American recipients include Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur. American veterans who fought in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France–Normandy, Provence, Ardennes, or Northern France–qualify to be decorated as Knights of the Legion of Honor.
Sergeant Jack Plylar arrived at Utah Beach about a month after D-Day. After fighting across France, Jack’s 319th Regiment of the 80th Infantry Division was involved in the liberation of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.
Ric Morgan, Elbert County Veterans Services Officer who submitted Jack’s service record to the French Government for consideration, said “Millions of GIs like Jack Plylar aren’t extraordinary because they are so rare; they’re extraordinary because there were so many of them in their heroic achievements. Their valor and sacrifice was at once inspirational and it was everywhere”
Every year, Elizabeth Stampede’s Sunday performance is the Red White and Blue Rodeo and includes a ceremony honoring veterans who served in any conflict and in any service. [Subscribe] to our email list and watch for the announcement calling for nominations for honorees at the 2016 Red White and Blue Rodeo. Current service members can attend this performance for half-price with a military ID. For more information or to nominate a veteran early, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.