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President Obama honors Dawson Vet
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Walter Victor

The memory of World War II Veteran and Dawson County resident, Walter Victor, was honored last week by the president of the United States.

Victor, 97, died October 2014 after a brief illness.

His wife of 72 years, Ruth Victor, received an envelope from the Veterans Administration on April 7.

There was a wonderful certificate inside from the president, she said. They really honored him.

Signed by President Barak Obama, the certificate reads: The United States of America honors the memory of Walter John Victor. This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Born July 1, 1917, Victor spent 33 months during WWII as a gunsmith and soldier fighting on the front lines in campaigns including the Battle of the Bulge and the D-Day invasion at Normandy in 1944. He was 27 at the time.

For his service in the U.S. Armys 9th division, he was awarded four bronze stars, eight combat stars and a distinguished service award.

Nearly 60 years later, he was also presented with the Legion of Honor Medal by the French government in recognition of his noble contribution and in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for the cause.

I survived the landing at Normandy by holding onto a metal cable that stretched from my boat to the anchor, Victor said in a 2013 interview.

He spoke often of safely escorting a high ranking White House official across enemy lines.

That man told me if I got him through I could work anywhere in the United States I wanted, Victor said at the time. And I got him through. I asked my wife where she wanted to go, and she always liked the book Gone with the Wind so we moved to Atlanta.

In 1966, Victor began serving as the official photographer for the Atlanta Braves. In his 40 year career with the team, he took nearly 20,000 photographs chronicling, Americas team.

Victor self-published one book, Brave at Heart, that recounts his war years and his time with the Braves.

He is buried at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.