It has been many years since his active military service ended, yet World War II veteran, Lester J. Trauth Sr. is still being honored for his contributions to his country. Trauth Sr. was recognized on Monday, March 19, for 70 years of membership with the American Legion.
The 92-year-old man lived in Lumberton for many years with his family, moved to Mauriceville recently, and is now a resident at a nursing home in Beaumont. For this special recognition, family and fellow William Hoy Curtis Post 72 members gathered together to honor this special man who gave so much to his country.
Harold Sherrill, with the WHC Post 72, read aloud the biography of Trauth, detailing some of his experiences during WWII. After being drafted into the Army at 18, Trauth was sent to England and then, with his unit, came ashore at Utah Beach on the Normandy Peninsular to battle alongside the Allied forces. By the time his unit crossed into Germany, only nine of the original 87 men in his company remained.
Trauth’s son, Lester Trauth, Jr., said that their ancestors came over from Germany in 1844 and 101 years later, his father was in Heidelberg, Germany fighting about 20 kilometers from their ancestors. “Full circle in 101 years,” he said.
After he returned home, he worked in the petro-chemical industry and retired in 1991. Even at his advanced age, Trauth Jr. says his father remembers so many details from his time in the military. “He still remembers the name of the first guy who got killed when they hit the beach,” he said.
The Commander of WHC Post 72 presented the Certificate of Continuous Membership from the American Legion to Trauth and he was emotional as he received the honor.
Sherrill said of Trauth, “He has seen the devastation of war.” Trauth has said several times in the past, “I’ve seen it all.”