Army Pfc. Stanley Sasine may have been wounded decades ago, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.
"A very dear friend of mine was crawling along my side and a sniper in this tree took his head off. I got so mad I actually stood up because I saw him and of course I shot him, but they got me," said Sasine.
Sasine was a member of the famed Merrill's Marauders, World War II commandos, guerrilla fighters who battled the Japanese in the jungles of Burma.
"I can't tell you how horrible it was. We were sweating and fighting bugs. We weren't able to bathe for weeks," said Sasine.
Of the 2,300 original Marauders, Sasine says only 130 survived.
"I've been told there are only 18 of us left today," Sasine said.
Sasine was awarded several medals for his service including the Purple Heart, but it wasn't until three years ago that he found out he was also authorized to receive the metal he cherishes the most, the Bronze Star.
"A big fire somewhere destroyed records etc … etc … and we were discharged. Everyone was in a hurry and we left," Sasine said.
Sasine's son did some digging and discovered records proving his father deserved the Bronze Star. Monday after 68 long years, Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss presented it to Sasine.
"It is relief, happiness, a lot of this is off my mind now. Now I would consider going back to Burma. It has been a good life," said Chambliss.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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