Kamloops man honoured for service in WWII

By Jessica Lepp
March 16, 2016 - 5:08pm Updated: March 16, 2016 - 5:46pm

KAMLOOPS — At the young age of 19 a Kamloops man made a decision that would stay with him into his late nineties.

Percey Howard joined the Canadian Army that would eventually storm Juno Beach on DDay to oust Nazi invaders.

After receiving yet another certificate and medal of honor, Howard has decided he wants to share it with those who never lived to see the day.

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96 years old and living unassisted in Kamloops, this decorated veteran says his most recent certificate and medal of honor from the French Government, is for all the comrades who never made it.

“I've always felt that the metals I got, so many didn't get.”

Percy Howard recounts the days long ago in World War II on the beaches of Normandy.

Howard says, “you were young when you went over, but once you got there and realized the shells were live, you grew up in a hurry. There's a whole lot of crying and screaming.”

Trying to forget the horrific sites of suffering and death Howard says he struggles to cope with the memories

“You try to get away from the shells, jump in the hole and there would be a mother holding her baby, both dead.”

Howards daughter Betty Loucks says, “he sacrificed his whole youth. I think it's important people know.”

After the war, Howard started a family adopting 7 kids and then again remarrying at the young age of 90.

His daughter Betty says it was years before her father even told her he was in the war.

“I think at the time too Dad was finding it difficult. He had a hard time to talk about it.”

Over the years Howard has received numerous awards for his service.

Now he has a Knight of the Legion of Honour medal.

“Yes its an honor, you should really be calling me sir,” says Howard.

Loucks says, “he's done so many things in his life, so many accomplishments. He does it without expecting anything. Hes truly a humble man.”

And despite risking his life for the freedom of others, there is only one hope he has for Canadians.

“Remember. Remember and think it could have been here in Canada, says Howard.”

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