U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) had her long-time effort to award World War II Army Rangers with the Congressional Gold Medal signed into law. Ernst, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard and the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, led the legislation alongside her fellow veteran Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). The bill signing comes one day after the 78th anniversary of D-Day.
“Our Army Rangers risked life and limb to defend our nation and protect freedom around the world,” said Senator Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate. “As we mark the 78th anniversary of D-Day, it is only fitting that we recognize the valor and extraordinary courage of the Greatest Generation. I am thrilled to see our long-anticipated efforts come to fruition and for these men to receive the recognition they deserve.”
“We are proud of our World War II Rangers who are the recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal,” said David L. Williams, President of Descendants of World War II Rangers, Inc. “We marvel at their achievements and cry over their sacrifices. Their heroic missions mark these men in Military Halls of Honor, and we, the Descendants, pledge to carry on their legacy.”
Ernst and Duckworth introduced the legislation in 2019. Of the nearly 7,000 Rangers who served in World War II, 13 are alive today.