With Sen. Hatch’s help, family accepts Silver Star for WWI vet

Posted at 8:40 AM, Dec 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-23 10:40:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The family of a World War I veteran accepted a Silver Star on Monday nearly a century after it was earned.

According to a statement from Sen. Orrin Hatch's office, Corporal Jeremiah L. Roberts served in Company 1, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces as a runner in the Battle of Soissons, France during July 18-19, 1918.

After Roberts passed away, family members found a copy of an Army Citation indicating the deceased veteran had earned a Silver Star, the nation's third-highest award given exclusively for combat valor. But family members could not find any evidence that Roberts received the actual award.

Roberts' son, Jeff Roberts, contacted Sen. Hatch, who went to work on getting the award. Jeff Roberts accepted the award on behalf of his late father Monday morning at Sen. Hatch's office in Salt Lake City.

"Corporal Roberts exemplified the courage, honor and valor that this award epitomizes. He was a soldier who quietly went about serving his country and helping ensure our freedoms were protected," Sen. Hatch said during the award ceremony.

Jeff Roberts expressed his gratitude to Sen. Hatch for his assistance in acquiring the long-awaited medal.

"I was told many times that you won't received this award. It's outdated and et cetera, but through the help of Orrin Hatch, we got it," Jeff Roberts said.