Hometown Hero Receives Long Overdue Medal of Honor

By Melanie Chapman | mchapman@kolr10.com

Published 03/19 2014 07:38PM

Updated 03/19 2014 08:16PM

LAMAR, Mo. -- A Lamar native was one of 24 service members to receive a long overdue military decoration, the Medal of Honor, during a ceremony by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Korean War veteran, Army Sergeant Jack Weinstein, received the honor posthumously from President Obama during a ceremony at the White House.

In 1951, Weinstein's platoon came under attack in Korea. While the men withdrew, he volunteered to stay back and continue fighting off the oncoming enemy.

Weinstein suffered a broken leg and, when he ran out of ammunition, he used enemy grenades to keep fighting until friendly forces came back in to aide.

The Lamar native is one of 24 brave men who fought three different wars; World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. But their sacrifices and commitment were just recognized at the same time decades later by President Obama.

Only three recipients were there to receive the honor. Surviving family members of the others accepted the medal posthumously on behalf of their loved ones.

KOLR10’s Melanie Chapman spoke to Nancy Weinstein, Jack’s wife, via satellite.

“Well that was the way he was with everything,” says Nancy. “He didn't' do anything halfway. He did everything the best he could.”

Weinstein and the other veterans received the second highest honor during battle, the Service Cross, but after a review of army records the military found these distinguished servicemen deserved much more. They deserved the Medal of Honor.

“Some of these soldiers fought died for our country that did not always see them as equal,” says President Obama during the ceremony.

The pentagon found 19 of these distinguished soldiers were denied the nation's highest honor because of prejudice.

“Ultimately, after years of review, these two dozen soldiers, among them Hispanic, African American and Jewish, medals were identified as having earned the Medal of Honor,” says Obama. “This is the length America will go to make sure anyone who serves under our proud flag receives the thanks that they deserve.”

Jack Weinstien passed away in 2006 and his wife never imagined this day would come.

“Oh I think he would be so honored,” she says. “So very honored.”

Jack married Nancy and settled in St. Francis, Kansas, where the two had five children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Nancy said during our interview Jack never bragged, he just said he was doing his job.

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