WW2 veteran receives thanks from president

By JESSICA LANE | The Express-Star, Chickasha, Okla. | Published: July 26, 2014

From the large tapestries of the Obamas in his living room, one could say that World War II veteran, Burley Givens, has an appreciation for the president.

And it would seem this recognition is reciprocal.

Givens, 91, recently received a letter from President Obama, thanking Givens for his service.

The letter stated: "Dear Burley, This is just a quick not to thank you for your service. You are among a generation of heroes who, amid the harshest of circumstances, helped free a continent for the grasp of tyranny and change the course of an entire century. America will be forever grateful for the sacrifices made by our World War II veterans, and in their extraordinary example we see the true meaning of patriotism–a devotion so deep they were willing to risk their lives to protect the ideals for which our Nation stands. Each day, I am thankful for the service of all our troops, our veterans and their families. I trust you take pride in your remarkable legacy, and I wish you the best. Sincere, Barack Obama."

A longtime Chickasha resident, Burley served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945 with an all black regiment, according to historian, Loretta Y. Jackson, founder of the Loretta Y. Jackson African American Historical Society.

During his military career, Burley has traveled the world.

Burley spent 33 months in Europe, serving in the 2nd, 3rd and 7th Army Divisions. He sailed on the Queen Mary for training in Cambridge, England for eight months, traveled the English Channel to the embattled Normandy Beach and to several cities in Germany before his station in Switzerland, according to Jackson.

Burley also received a Citation of Appreciation for these achievements. He was honored with four overseas bars, an ETO Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal and Four Overseas Bars.


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