FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.- On the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Tennessee World War II veteran finally received the honor of a lifetime.
90-year-old retired Staff Sergeant James Alsobrooks received his Purple Heart 67 years after he was wounded while fighting in the legendary Battle of the Bulge. Upon returning home he said he never filled out the necessary paperwork to claim the award. Decades later, and with some help from his granddaughter and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, he received his award.
"It's really uplifting," said James Alsobrooks. "It makes me feel young."
The ceremony took place in the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters building at Fort Campbell. He received the award in front of family, friends, current soldiers, and past Purple Heart recipients.
"What I really appreciate is the effort and the presentation," said Alsobrooks. " I hope this closes one chapter of my life that has been open for 67 years."
"Today we honor a great American Hero," said Maj. Gen. James McConville. "Because of people like you we get a chance to enjoy freedoms that many of us take for granted every single day."
Members of Alsobrook's family said they were thrilled to see him honored for his sacrifice.
"Growing up, we heard all the stories about when he served in World War II," said his daughter Rita Byrd. "To see this come to fruition is amazing."
"I feel like he deserved it," said his granddaughter Elizabeth Smith. "For everything he did for our country, he deserved it."
Alsobrooks also spent 30 year as a civil servant at Fort Campbell after leaving the military.