Governor’s medal highlights WWII service


Florida Gov. Rick Scott awards Suntree resident Malcolm “Mal” Roberts with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award Award July 27.

Suntree resident Malcolm “Mal” Roberts received the Governor’s Veterans Service Award at a ceremony in Miami July 27.

“Honoring Those Who Served,” Roberts read, his thumb tracing the outline of the words on the back of the golden medal as he reflected on the honor.

“What a great day. I felt very proud.” said Roberts, who nearly died on the battlefield and spent more than a year recovering in a hospital before being honorably discharged for medical reasons.

The World War II rifleman served in the 399th Infantry Division on the front lines of France. He received the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur three years ago, France’s highest honor.

After a long delay — a fire in a U.S. military records department destroyed his data — he finally received his medals earned from his military service. Among them awarded at an Indian River Colony Club ceremony 12 years ago were the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Marksman Badge, to name just a few.