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By Congressman Robert Hurt
Last week, Arthur Ordel of Albemarle County and Robert L. Sales of Amherst County each received the French Legion of Honor as a token of gratitude for helping liberate France from Nazi German occupation. They were among six World War II veterans awarded this medal by French President Francois Hollande. I had the privilege of attending their awards ceremony, and it was an event I will not forget.
Arthur Ordel fought with the U.S. Army Air Corps as a bombardier in World War II, and sixteen of his bombing missions were to targets in France. For his 35 total missions, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Claiming he was older than he was, Robert Sales joined the Virginia National Guard in 1941. He fought through the first wave of the D-Day offensive with the Virginia National Guard. Sales was left partially blind from the warfare but was the only one of the 30 men in his landing craft to survive the day. He was awarded three Purple Hearts and the Silver Star for his distinguished service.
I extended my congratulations to Mr. Ordel and Mr. Sales upon receiving this recognition for their bravery and service to our nation and the world, and I remain forever grateful for the sacrifices they have made for our country.
Over 800,000 veterans call Virginia home, and many of those heroes and their families were concerned by a provision in a recent budget bill that changed veterans’ future retirement cost of living adjustments. I too was concerned about this change, and I was pleased to vote in favor of a bill last week that restored these cost of living adjustments for military retirees. This legislation passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support and now awaits the President’s signature.
Throughout the generations, veterans like Arthur Ordel and Robert Sales have selflessly served our nation and courageously preserved our freedoms. I am proud to represent these brave men and women in Washington.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.