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WWII Navy veteran receives French Medal of Honor

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 04 2014 04:41:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 04 2014 05:04:56 PM CDT

A Berks County man has been awarded France's highest honor for his service in World War II.

A Berks County man has been awarded France's highest honor for his service in World War II.

Joseph Julian was not drafted, but rather volunteered to join the U.S. Navy and fight during World War II.

"A little bit scared, but I was anxious to get in. I was at programs and I heard that radio speech about japs invading Pearl Harbor. That was very patriotic and I wanted to get in there and do my share," said Joseph Julian.

During his three years in the Navy, Joseph served as a first class radio man, delivering messages to those on French land.

But Joseph says it was not easy. He later sought help from a psychiatrist after experiencing the horrors of war.

"He told me to speak about, it is good to talk about it that way you get it out of your system and in time you will be alright. That is what happened," said Julian.

Now 70 years later, Joseph was one of 14 WWII veterans honored by the Embassy of France.

The men were awarded France's highest distinction, the Legion of Honor, for helping to liberate the country and bring peace to Europe.

"Proud. I am proud of it," said Julian.

His wife of 69 years was there by his side along with his son and grandson at the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"It was really nice. It was a real nice ceremony and I felt good all over. I really did," said Joseph's wife Carmen Julian.

Now 70 years later, Joseph says he is grateful for the recognition.

"It was a happy moment, one of the happiest moments of my life," said Julian.