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Minnesota National Guard
St. Paul WWII, Korean War vet is awarded Bronze Star


By Miles Trump

Longtime St Paul resident and war hero John Kenney was formally recognized for his service to his country Saturday - more than 60 years afterward

Although documents show that 2nd Lt Kenney was recommended for the Bronze Star for his service in World War II, he had not received the medal It took an aide from US Rep Betty McCollum's office to discover earlier this year that Kenney was eligible for the honor

"The Army loses stuff over the years," said Col Michael Huddleston of the Minnesota National Guard, who helped present the award to Kenney

"His chain of command put him on for the medal, but it never got acted upon You find this a lot with World War II heroes," he said "But this was the right time"

Among friends and family at his son Bill's St Paul home, Kenney, 90, received the award from Huddleston and McCollum, D-Minn

"I am thrilled, and I want to thank everybody throughout this country," he said after accepting the medal

The Bronze Star is awarded to those who served in the US Army after Dec 6, 1941, and distinguished themselves through heroic or meritorious achievements against an armed enemy

"The Bronze Star is pretty high up," Huddleston said

Kenney, who served with the 314th Infantry Regiment in Europe, received the medal for his actions during ground combat against armed enemies Feb 4, 1945

"Second Lt Kenney's exemplary performance of duty in active ground combat was in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself," the award certificate says
This was Kenney's 11th medal earned in war After serving from 1943 to 1947, he was recalled for the Korean War from 1949 to 1951

McCollum thanked Kenney for showing dedication to his country

"It's important to remember that freedoms come with sacrifices He made those sacrifices for his country," she said

Miles Trump can be reached at 651-228-5583

TwinCities.com - Pioneer Press

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