A long time coming

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Shemory finally gets his medals

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS At top, Ken Shemory is pictured with award presenter Col. Lisa Harbach, Army Reserve Sgt. Bobby George, who announced the medals, and the Jersey Shore Honor Guard. Above, top, Shemory poses with all his great-grandchildren. Above, Army Retired Colonel Lisa Harbach presents him with one of his many awards.

JERSEY SHORE — It was all about pride.

And the room was filled with it.

Family, friends and fellow servicemen and women gathered recently to honor Kenneth Shemory.

They were there to show the elderly soldier how proud they are of him and to thank him for his service in the U.S. Army.

They were also there to recognize him for his service by awarding him the medals he never received when he returned home from the war more than 80 years ago.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS At top, Ken Shemory is pictured with award presenter Col. Lisa Harbach, Army Reserve Sgt. Bobby George, who announced the medals, and the Jersey Shore Honor Guard. Above, top, Shemory poses with all his great-grandchildren. Above, Army Retired Colonel Lisa Harbach presents him with one of his many awards.

The ceremony, held at the Jersey Shore VFW, was the work of Shermory’s daughter, Sandy Vought.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Shemory served four different campaigns in the 1874th Engineer Aviation Battalion from Dec. 16, 1942 to Jan. 11, 1946.

“He was one of McArthur’s boys,” said VFW Service Officer David Bower.

And like many other soldiers, the awards and medals he earned were never received.

Until now… in front of family, friends and accompanied by the Jersey Shore Honor Guard.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS At top, Ken Shemory is pictured with award presenter Col. Lisa Harbach, Army Reserve Sgt. Bobby George, who announced the medals, and the Jersey Shore Honor Guard. Above, top, Shemory poses with all his great-grandchildren. Above, Army Retired Colonel Lisa Harbach presents him with one of his many awards.

His awards included:

r Good Conduct Medal.

r Presidential Unit Citation.

r American Campaign Medal.

r Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal and Bronze Star Attachment with Triple and Arrowhead.

r Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Bronze Star Attachment.

r World War II Victory Medal.

r Honorable Service Lapel Button.

At one point during the ceremony he joked that he didn’t have enough room on his shirt for all the medals.

The awards were announced by Ken’s son-in-law, Army Reserve Sgt. Bobby George, and Army Retired Col. Lisa Harbach presented the award to Shemory.

After the awards were presented, Bower called Sandy up to the front to stand next to her father.

She gave an emotional and heartfelt speech telling everyone how great a man her father is.

“Born a twin in the middle of 12 siblings it was no wonder he was such a strong man,” she said.

After the ceremony, each member of the Jersey Shore Honor Guard took time to talk to Ken, thanking him for his service and offering congratulations.

Family members gathered for photos and spent a little time with the man who had a great impact on their lives.

Good food and good times were had by all in celebration of a true American hero finally receiving recognition for his years of service.

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