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Oldest Living LCO Member, WWII Veteran Neal Korn Honored with 5 Medals for his Service

Updated: May 22

By Joe Morey

News Editor


LCO TGB member Little Guy presents Neal Korn with a star quilt. Photo by Joe Morey.

Congressman Derrick Van Orden, WI 3rd District, awarded 102-year-old World War II veteran, Neal Korn, the oldest living Lac Courte Oreilles tribal member, with five military medals for his service at a special ceremony held in the VFW in Eau Claire on Monday, April 22, 2024.


Korn, a resident of Chippewa Falls, was presented the medals by Rep. Van Orden, who said Korn was one of our nation’s heroes from the greatest generation.


“We present Mr. Korn with these medals so that his family can see what he did for this country,” said Rep. Van Orden. “This comes 81 years after he first joined the army. We can never fully thank you for your service. We owe you a debt of gratitude that simply cannot be repaid.”


LCO Tribal Council Member Gary “Little Guy” Clause was on hand to present Mr. Korn with an eagle feather and a star quilt on behalf of the LCO Tribe.


“Thank you for bestowing these great honors to our relative today,” Little Guy told Van Orden and all the veterans in attendance. “He’s much deserving.”


LCO Tribal Council Member Michelle Beaudin was also there representing LCO and she read a proclamation from the LCO Tribal Governing Board which stated Korn as the oldest living LCO member, was born on March 22, 1923; the great-grandson of Zhenowa and Joseph DeMarr.


“In recognition of his service, bravery. sacrifice, and commitment to protecting the peace and freedom of the United States, Neil Edward Korn was honored with five medals, presented by retired U.S. Navy SEAL and WI Rep. Derrick Van Orden and historically, Indigenous Tribes have the highest military service per capita compared to any other ethnic group in the US; it is a great honor for Ojibwe people to be part of the Ogichidaa Society, protecting our people and the people of the United States,” Beaudin read.


“The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians hereby honors, salutes, and pays tribute to the unwavering bravery of Lac Courte Oreilles Ogichidaa, Neil Edward Korn, for his invaluable contributions, commitment, and sacrifices in service to the United States.”


Mr. Korn is a retired United States Army Private First Class who served during the period of January 8, 1943 to December 15, 1944. He completed battles and campaigns in Normandy, France, Northern France, and Rhineland, Germany.


“As a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, it is an honor to secure these medals for Mr. Neil Korn and recognize his commitment to fighting for peace and freedom during World War II,” said Congressman Van Orden. “We can never fully thank veterans for their service to our country, but we absolutely should ensure they receive the recognition they deserve for their sacrifices. I look forward to presenting this American hero with the medals he earned through his honorable service to our nation.”


Mr. Korn told WEUX TV prior to his receiving of the awards that he, at 102 years old, “Don’t wear glasses, don’t have a hearing aid, got my own teeth.”


Neil Korn served in the 405th Artillery Battalion.


“When I was first in the army, I went down in the motor pool. So, I drove a truck.” Korn was deployed in East Africa, England and through the invasion of France. “The next battle that we had was the Battle of the Bulge. And that was the bad one.”


The medals awarded to Mr. Korn are as follows:


The Good Conduct Medal, which is awarded to active duty enlisted military members who conducted honorable and faithful service.


The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, which is awarded to military servicemembers who performed military duty in the European Theater, with the Army Three Bronze Stars.


The World War II Victory Medal, which is awarded to active duty servicemembers who served during December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.


The Army of Occupation Medal, which is awarded for 30 consecutive days at a normal post of duty on assignment of the armies of occupation, with the Germany Clasp.


The Honorable Service Lapel Button, which is awarded for honorable federal military service between 1925 and 1946.

In the pictures from top: Michelle Beaudin presents Mr. Korn with TGB proclamation, with Gary "Little Guy" Clause on the right and Fred Jack, LCO, and Congressman Van Orden. To the far left is Gary Quaderer from LCO. Neal Korn surrounded by all the veterans in the room. The color guard. Michelle Beaudin reads the proclamation and Korn receives his medals.

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