Col. Kent Olson presents the Bronze Star Medal to WWII veteran

Col. Kent Olson, the 119th Wing commander, center, pins the Bronze Star Medal on the shirt of Gerald Tillman, left, as Lt. Col. Mark Ostern, who is the Airman and Family Readiness Program manager for the North Dakota Air National Guard and a member of the 372nd Military Intelligence Battalion, reads the citation at the Bethany Nursing Home, Fargo, North Dakota, Dec. 15, 2015. Olson and Ostern are presenting the award at the request of family members, who are present for the ceremony being done in haste because of Tillman’s failing health. The award was received with the help of the South Dakota Senator John Thune office. Tillman was originally a Private and was promoted to Sergeant serving in Company A, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division in the Philippines at the time of his heroic actions. He was a gunner in a machine gun unit at Woodpecker Ridge, Luzon campaign, Philippines. According to a letter of commendation: dated June, 1945 to Colonel Washington M. Ives, Jr. of the 152nd Division from Major General William C. Chase, “the 152nd Infantry advanced rapidly to Zig Zag Pass east of OLANGAPO and there attacked continuously....your continued aggressive attack destroyed the greater part of the Japanese 39th Infantry Regiment which had been ordered to defend to the death in the Zig Zag Pass... your own losses have been relatively light. You have killed over 5,900 (of the enemy).” (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H Lipp/Released)

VIRIN: 151215-Z-WA217-157.jpg
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