NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey couple received a special honor on Thursday, one that was decades in the making.
The husband and wife were celebrated for their heroism in serving in World War II.
As CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported, the couple felt nothing but pride on the long-awaited day. Rose and Lenny Brotzky were honored by their congressman.
“This is the ultimate power couple. People who believed in America, and did so much to save America,” Rep. Chris Smith said.
Lenny received a Purple Heart for battlefield injuries sustained during the battle of the bulge 70 years ago.
Brotzky, 92, was 18 when he enlisted after graduating from Orange High School in New Jersey. During the war he was in the 36th Division of the 155th Artillery. A field injury took the use of his right hand.
“We were moving. We got shelled by mortars, and I was in the jeep. A jeep driver, because I was a forward observer,” he explained.
He received the French Legion of Honor, but frustrated by the U.S. government’s lack of recognition he wrote to his congressman for help in 2003. The evidence was uncovered at the VA and finally lead to a Purple Heart.
“It means everything in the world because I earned it,” Brotzky said.
Rose Brotzky served in the Marines as a radio operator in Hawaii during the war. She was presented with an American flag that was flown over the capital, but told CBS 2’s Tyler that it was her husband’s day.
“It’s an honor to be here. I’m so proud of my husband,” she said.
The Brotzkys are parents of two, and grandparents of six.
“They have so many great stories about WW II to pass on to their grandchildren, and they’ll pass on to anyone who’ll listen to them,” the couple’s daughter Barbara Kolodziejczyk said.
The couple has a long history of service, Lenny with the Boy Scouts and Rose with the Girls Scouts.
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