HOUSTON -- In a generation defined by modesty, Jack Dulworth is more modest than most.
I didn t volunteer for it, but I accepted it, said Dulworth. It was just part of life at the time as a young man.
Several months after the Normandy Invasion, an 18-year-old Dulworth found himself crossing the English Channel into France.
Eighteen year olds are really not afraid of anything, said Dulworth, so really, I don t look back on it as a big fear. I was just there.
Once there, he was quickly schooled in the basics of combat.
I went on a lot of patrols and fired and men, and they fired at us, said Dulworth. If they zeroed in on an automatic weapon, they d kill you, so I would fire and run and fire and run. That s about all I remember is shooting and running, and I could run fast.
He wasn t fast enough, however, to escape the explosion of a grenade, which earned him a headline in the hometown paper and a Purple Heart. Now, just as he s about to turn 87, Dulworth is receiving another medal.
It s France s highest award, said Marie-Laure Reed of the French Consulate in Houston.
It s the Legion of Honor recognizing extreme merit. It s being awarded to all WWII veterans who fought on French soil as a show of appreciation for their sacrifice.
For a guy in the middle of Texas or Oklahoma to leave everything he had to fight in a country he didn t know, was amazing, said Reed.
Dulworth is among 15 such veterans from the region being recognized during a ceremony at Ellington Field on February 1.
It s a nice honor to have, said Dulworth. I don t think I really deserve it.
After all, he says, he was just there.