Seventy-six years ago, an Army private named Ozzie Fletcher fought in the bloody Battle of Normandy. A crane operator, he barely escaped with his life when a German missile came screaming down, killing his driver. But since Fletcher was Black, he wasn’t awarded the Purple Heart — until now.
The chief of staff of the U.S. Army, Gen. James McConville awarded Fletcher — now 99 years old — the long-overdue medal at the Fort Hamilton Community Club in Brooklyn on June 18.
“It was an honor and privilege to pin a long overdue Purple Heart on a great Soldier and member of the Greatest Generation, Mr. Ozzie Fletcher,” McConville told the Washington Post. “This week, we were able to pay tribute to Ozzie for the sacrifices he made in service to our great Nation during World War II.”
This is a man who understands service to the community as well as his nation. He went on to serve in the NYPD for 26 years…Founded the Guardians Association for Black law enforcement professionals. Then he taught high school for another 24 years until retirement. The man deserves a bushel basket of medals.