Utah Senator Orrin Hatch presented the military’s Silver Star for valor to the local family of a World War One veteran on Monday.
Corporal Jeremiah L. Roberts served in the Army as a runner in the Battle of Soissons, France during July 1918. On Monday, Roberts’ son Jeff Roberts accepted the medal on behalf of his father who died in 1976. Jeff Roberts said his family never knew of his father’s honor until they discovered the citation for it in a pile of personal records years after his father passed. He said it was a struggle to ensure that his father finally received the Silver Star.
“Well, it’s 96 years ago last July that he earned this, it’s been a long time coming and pursued this for ten years, had a lot of letters, a lot of phone calls and a lot of, 'you’ll never get it,' but we got it," said Jeff Roberts.
Roberts says that Senator Hatch and members of his staff played an important role in the recognition process. Hatch told reporters that recognizing veterans for their service is one of the most meaningful things he does as a United States senator.
“Well first of all, I lost my brother in the Second World War and I lost a brother-in-law in Vietnam, so I have very deep feelings about the military and understand the sacrifices that these young men and women, by the way, are making for you and me," said Senator Hatch.
Roberts said he feels like Christmas came early this year for his family, and he is excited to finally have his father’s service acknowledged.