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Monday, July 22, 2024

Lake Wales WWII Veteran To Be Honored With Major Award This Week


US Army Corporal Frank Blish Ret <br >photo provided by Kat Gates Skipper

The public is invited to attend an upcoming award ceremony for a very special Lake Wales resident.

U.S. Marine Corps General James “Hammer”  Hartsell, Executive Director of Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, will present 99-year-old WWII Army veteran Corporal Frank Blish, with the Bronze Star Medal and European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star.

According to Kat Gates-Skipper, USMC/USMCR (GySgt. Ret.) U.S. Marine Corps Gulf War Veteran, Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, Blish will be one of a handful of veterans who will be honored at the ceremony.

“There will be several Vietnam veterans, a Cold War Veteran, a Gulf War veteran, and OIF and OEF Veterans,” says Gates-Skipper.

“I’m honored to be part of this special event for a special warrior; he deserves all the recognition and praise” that he’s entitled to.

After many years, this award was approved via the Army Review Board on June 25, 2024. 

Cpl Blish served 2 years in the Army 1943-1945. He was attached to the 101st Airborne Division and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, behind enemy lines. 

He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was in Bastone when it was surrounded by German forces. He was wounded during this time. 

He was awarded the Victory Medal, American Theatre Campaign ribbon, and a CIB. He is a Lake Wales resident. 

The public is invited to attend. The ceremony will take place: 

Wednesday, July 10, 2:00 pm at the Community Building at Peace Creek RV Park , 26397 US Hwy 27,Lake Wales, FL 33859. (Located off of Hwy 27 N., between Waverly and Dundee). 

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Maria Iannucci

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