Nichole Hannahs

Honoring a Member of the Greatest Generation

by Nichole Hannahs on April 25, 2014 at 6:59 am

If you speak to 92-year-old John Mathews about WWII some memories of his days in Europe return.

Days of driving a half track truck that was used to transport a crew of 13 people. He can tell you about liberating Jewish prisoners in Austria at Gusen and Mauthausen.

He can also remember back to fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, where about 19,000 American soldiers gave their lives.

"I got shrapnel through my arms. The scars are still here," said World War II veteran John Mathews pointing to his arms. "I got out and I hid under a tank or I would have been killed if I’d of stayed in my half track."

Friday, in his Norwich home surrounded by family Congressman Bill Johnson read a proclamation honoring this American hero from the Greatest Generation.

"We went into World War II ill prepared, ill equipped," said Congressman Johnson from the 6th US Congressional District. "It’s great Americans, great patriots like John Mathews that took the battle to the enemy to those that would destroy the ideals of freedom and democracy and we’re just so very very proud of him."

The proclamation was spear-headed through the national campaign "We Honor Veterans." Genesis Hospice recently became a partner in the campaign which addresses the special needs of people who have served our country.

"Without our veteran’s we wouldn’t be the free nation that we are today," said Hospice Nurse Shelly Winkle. "We’re just so thankful for them and they need to be honored and recognized."

Mathews was in Company A, 21st Armored Infantry, 11th Armored Division. He’s also received a WWII Victory Medal along with three bronze stars.