CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – A Clearfield County World War II veteran received quite the surprise Friday afternoon.
A letter from the commander in chief himself, President Joe Biden.
Purple Heart recipient John Noble served in the United States Army during the war, and just turned 100 years old on April 18. Today, his family joined him at his residence to give him one very special present.
“It’s a real honor that the president sent this, and we’re just thrilled that he’s with us here,” his daughter, Allison said.
Clearfield County Commissioner Dave Class presented the heroic veteran with his gift. He was surrounded by his daughter, Allison, and nephew, Terry, whose father also served in the US Army.
President Biden wished Mr. Noble a happy 100th birthday, and he thanked him for his inspiring service in the war. He noted the selflessness of Noble and all his fellow veterans who answered the call to serve.
Noble served as a machine gun sergeant in the 79th infantry of the United States Army and was severely wounded in the Battle of Normandy. His wounds were so bad his family was told his leg would have to be amputated. But Noble persevered and returned home.
“Threw a grenade at me. And it landed over on this side,” Noble said, when describing the moment a grenade exploded just feet away from him on the northern part of France in 1944.”I was wounded in this leg… all on this side, and I was seriously wounded that I was all done fighting.”
The wounds were so severe, the amputation ward sent a letter to Noble’s mother telling her about his injuries. Upon his return home, she was in shock to see her son standing there.
“When he came home, his mother had thought he had lost an arm or a leg,” Noble’s daughter Allison said. “And when she saw him she couldn’t believe it. That he was there, and looking pretty good.”
Noble’s four brothers all served in the US Army as well during the war, although he says they never crossed paths in their time in Europe.
He is the only one of his brothers still alive today, and one of very few veterans remaining from the war.
His nephew, Terry, says John is the definition of the “American Dream.” From serving his country, coming home and raising a family, and his work throughout the entire community. As President Biden put it, his character defines our Greatest Generation
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