Two WWII veterans presented with Legion of Honor medals at Lompoc ceremony
By SANTA MARIA TIMES, CALIF. Published: January 19, 2019
LOMPOC, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — Two World War II veterans were honored with Legion of Honor medals from the French government on Wednesday during a ceremony at the Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building.
George Corrales, who will turn 95 years old this month, and the late David Valenzuela, who died this year at 101 years old, were the honorees. They were each presented with certificates of recognition and Legion of Honor medals, which represent the highest honors given by the French government for military and civil merits. The award was established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte.
Corrales, who served in the Army, was on hand to accept his honors. Among other military awards received by Corrales was a European African Middle Eastern Medal, a Combat Infantry Badge and two Bronze Service Stars, which he never received and is in the process of obtaining.
Corrales was born in Long Beach and lived there for many years.
Valenzuela's honors were accepted by surviving members of his family.
Valenzuela, who was born in Los Alamos, enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was deployed to several areas of Normandy during the Liberation of France. Other honors obtained by Valenzuela include a Good Conduct Medal, an American Campaign Medal and a European African Middle Eastern Medal.
Before joining the military Valenzuela worked as a barber. He returned to the profession after leaving the service.
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