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Soesbee awarded France's highest honor

World War II veteran and former Rockdale County Commissioner Bud Soesbee has been chosen to receive France's highest honor, the Legion of Honor, in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

The award expresses France's gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression in World War II from 1944-1945.

On April 3, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, will bestow the Legion of Honor upon eight American WW II Veterans from Georgia:

- Clarence M. "Bud" Sosebee from Conyers, GA (Staff Sergeant, Headquarters Company, 271st Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion)
- Frederick P. Wiley from Social Circle, GA (Private First Class, Company G, 175th Infantry Regiment)
- Vincent W. Masters from Athens, GA (Lieutenant Colonel, 385th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force)
- William H. Spratling from Athens, GA (Lieutenant, USS Eberle)
- Marcie E. Dover from Winder, GA (Staff Sergeant, Company L, 9th Infantry, 2nd Division)
- Philip Pollock from Athens, GA (Staff Sergeant, Company G., 347th Regiment, 87th Division)
- Johnson W. Brown from Cumming, GA (Motor Machinist's Mate First Class, LCI 487 (L)
- Emmett Cabe from Lindale, GA (Seaman First Class, U.SS LST (370))

The ceremony will be held on April 3, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia State Capitol.

Soesbee said he learned about it when he received the notification letter in the mail. "I'm tickled to death for it," he said.

Vietnam veteran and veteran's advocate Tommy Clack nominated Soesbee for the award originally in 2010 and saw to it that the 89-year-old Battle of the Bulge survivor's service was verified and properly recognized.

Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honor in France. It recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.

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