N.S. war veteran to receive U.S. Congressional Gold Medal
A 93-year-old war veteran has just received the most exciting birthday gift he could have asked for.
Herb Peppard received word on Monday that his elite war unit is going to receive the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.
During the Second World War, the Truro, N.S. resident served with a joint U.S. Canadian elite unit that came to be known as the Devil’s Brigade.
After years of lobbying in the American Senate and congress, lawmakers have voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to surviving members of the Devil’s Brigade.
“That was one of the reasons that we got it, because we’re neighbours, and we fought together for something we believed in,” says Peppard.
The Devil’s Brigade was the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s award-winning film “Inglourious Basterds” and Brad Pitt’s character sported the unit’s logo on his uniform in the film – the same logo Peppard wears on his legion blazer.
Past recipients of the medal include Neil Armstrong, George Washington and the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Lark Hewer says she couldn’t be prouder of her father.
“The medal is icing on the cake for our hero and all of our comrades who fought so gallantly,” says Hewer. “Some gave their lives, some returned home injured and many still live, but the many are few.”
Out of 3,000 members, only 175 members of the brigade are still alive today. There were 1,000 Canadians in the unit and Peppard is only one of 60 remaining.
“Oh, I feel very proud. Very proud of the unit and all the buddies I had. The buddies I lost,” says Peppard.
It is not known when or where members of the Devil’s Brigade will be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal but Peppard says he just got his passport renewed and, like his military days, he will be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh