Palate Cleanser: Nation’s oldest MoH recipient turns 96

posted at 6:31 pm on January 20, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

This is a season when we cover far, far too many depressing tales of politics and Washington power. As we roll through the end of the NFL playoffs, what say we take a moment to lend our thoughts to something nicer? There was a birthday party this weekend in New Jersey, and it was honoring somebody who truly has earned the right to blow out as many damn candles as he can manage here in the good old U.S of A. Meet Nicholas Oresko, 96 years young.

A true American hero is celebrating a milestone right here in New Jersey.

The country’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient is celebrating his 96th birthday at his retirement home in Cresskill.

World War II veteran Nick Oresko received his medal from President Harry Truman on October 30, 1945.

On a personal note, a little research on 94th Infantry showed that Oresko served in the same area as my father in France under Patton. I don’t know that they ever met, particularly given the merge dates, but a sentimental part of me likes to think they might have. And even if not – to steal a phrase from Heartbreak Ridge – they sure as hell chewed a lot of the same dirt. Master Sergeant Oresko is enjoying the company of his family at home, but he’s got one heck of a story to tell should you care to listen.

Born on January 18, 1917, in Bayonne, New Jersey, Oresko later joined the Army from that city in March 1942. He was sent to Europe and arrived in France in September 1944, three months after the Normandy landings, as a platoon sergeant in Company C, 302nd Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division. His unit spent the next several months mopping up pockets of German soldiers who had been bypassed in the Allies’ initial push through the northern part of France. In December 1944 they were redeployed to replace the 90th Infantry Division as part of Patton’s 3d Army. The 94th assumed positions opposite the Westwall and the German 11th Panzer Division.

On January 23, 1945, near Tettingen, Germany, Oresko, by then a master sergeant, single-handedly defeated a German bunker, was seriously wounded, and then destroyed a second bunker despite his injuries. For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on October 30, 1945. The medal was formally presented to him by President Harry Truman during a ceremony at the White House.

Happy birthday, Master Sergeant Oresko, and many, many more. A grateful nation salutes you, sir.


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*salute*

The Count on January 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Would LOVE to hear his thoughts on today’s America..and, God Bless you, Sir!

bernzright777 on January 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

good people

rob verdi on January 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

From one who has served, thank you, sir. I am in awe of you and the others in your elite fraternity.

rjh on January 20, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Thank you sir, Oresko from the bottom our hearts for your service and long life is asked for you. So precious few WW11 and other vets are still with us.

My heart feels so good seeing this wonderful man and hopefully he will be with us for many years.

Thanks Jazz for this ‘palate cleasner’.
L

letget on January 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Finally – a real hero! Thanks, we needed that today. “Salute,” sir and Happy Birthday.

indypat on January 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Happy Birthday!

-President Obama

P.S.- Due to your excellent service to our nation, you qualify for the Complete Lives Program! Your medication will be cut-off immediately in the name of the common good! Enjoy!

Glenn Jericho on January 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Happy Birthday Sir and Thank You for your service.

gophergirl on January 20, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Happy Birthday, sir.

And thank you.

BacaDog on January 20, 2013 at 6:51 PM

*salute*

davidk on January 20, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Thanks for posting this Jazz.

God bless and happy birthday, sir. I hope we see this again next year.

kim roy on January 20, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1609

davidk on January 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

This is a season when we cover far, far too many depressing tales of politics and Washington power. As we roll through the end of the NFL playoffs, what say we take a moment to lend our thoughts to something nicer?

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Happy birthday, and thank you for your service sir.

RalphyBoy on January 20, 2013 at 7:09 PM

If you don’t feed it, maybe it will starve and go away? See above.
L

letget on January 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

You’re an idiot.

FOAD, you anti-American piece of tripe.

Solaratov on January 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Happy Birthday, Master Sergeant.

Hand salute.

May you enjoy many more.

Solaratov on January 20, 2013 at 7:15 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I shouldn’t even bother responding to your dumba$$ comment…..

The difference between us on the right and you bayam, is we don’t have any problem using our taxpayer dollars for those who earn them. As opposed to you dumba$$es who want to just give our dollars away to freeloaders and those who won’t even try to help themselves.

Besides, putting this man in the 47% category just shows how extreme your ignorance is.

BacaDog on January 20, 2013 at 7:15 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

You are truly, the biggest POS I’ve ever seen here.

bernzright777 on January 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM

As opposed to you dumba$$es who want to just give our dollars away to freeloaders and those who won’t even try to help themselves.

Wealthy states like New York and California already do this by receiving far less in federal spending than those states pay in federal states. Why? Because certain states apparently don’t have the collective IQ and talent to innovate and compete in the global economy. Working for Japanense and German automakers doesn’t create wealth.

Yet it’s people living in those states on the giving end of the government tax/spend ratio are the very first to claim the mantle of victimization and constantly whine.

Besides, putting this man in the 47% category just shows how extreme your ignorance is.

The 47% has always included everyone “dependent upon the government” by Romney’s original definition, including seniors and military veterans. That’s how you achieve the 47% number. Your explanation is inadequate.

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

You are truly, the biggest POS I’ve ever seen here.

bernzright777 on January 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Keep it classy. Typical, you like to talk about the 47% when it serves your purposes and lends to your sense of victimization and self righteousness.

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Ask Rayra.

He owns the entire Outrageous Outrage Market on Public Sector pension and benefits funding.

He’ll tell you: “The stupidity and arrogance [of public sector pensioners] is what raises my resentment, not the income disparity.”

But then a few sentences later he’ll say: “Well motherfu**er I’m too broke and pissed to pay my taxes, so f**k your free ride.”

Yeah. Envy and Jealousy are ugly things. But hey, outrageous outrage will make you feel better about yourself – apparently – so there’s always that.

LoL

SD Tom on January 20, 2013 at 7:31 PM

On January 23, 1945, near Tettingen, Germany, Oresko, by then a master sergeant, single-handedly defeated a German bunker, was seriously wounded, and then destroyed a second bunker despite his injuries. For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on October 30, 1945.

God Bless You, Master Sergeant. Glad we have men like you on our team.

Birthday Wishes from the west coast!

Tim_CA on January 20, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Keep it classy. Typical, you like to talk about the 47% when it serves your purposes and lends to your sense of victimization and self righteousness.

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

You are the one who couldn’t keep it classy by interjecting your politics into what should be a salute to this fine gentleman who served your country, giving you the ability and the freedom to spew your hatred crap whenever you feel like it. You are a disgrace.

That being said……….

Happy birthday Mr. Oresko, thank you for serving my country.

JPeterman on January 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Guess we have one or two that would ‘p’ in their pants if they had to do what real men serving our nation would/did do? Gotta ask, why do they always have the same slugs come out and slam those who have and did keep them safe and doing their krappy first here?
L

letget on January 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Happy Birthday!

-President Obama

P.S.- Due to your excellent service to our nation, you qualify for the Complete Lives Program! Your medication will be cut-off immediately in the name of the common good! Enjoy!

Glenn Jericho on January 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Except he wouldn’t even get that from Obama. The President isn’t going to the Heroes Ball for his 2nd straight inauguration.

RickB on January 20, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Why am I not surprised a troll would show up and completely stink up the thread?

No wonder these parasites have no friends.

CurtZHP on January 20, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Arrives in France in September of ’44 as a sergeant and by January of ’45 he’s a MASTER SERGEANT?!

This guy must have been one hell of a GI.

*Salute* at attention.

Cleombrotus on January 20, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Gotta ask, why do they always have the same slugs come out and slam those who have and did keep them safe and doing their krappy first here?
L

letget on January 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

“Hatred of the good for being the good is the hallmark of the 20th century”.

Ayn Rand

Cleombrotus on January 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

“Hand salute!!”

“Ready… two!!”

Khun Joe on January 20, 2013 at 7:58 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Article I, Section 8, and he earned it! Careful where you tread with this, while I will keep it classy you may not like where it goes!

MarshFox on January 20, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

.
Whatever he’s getting from the taxpayers today, HE EARNED IT.

listens2glenn on January 20, 2013 at 8:03 PM

From a 1st Lt., a sincere, awe inspired salute.

FOWG1 on January 20, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1609

davidk on January 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM


Thanks for the info. I am saddened to say I no longer recognize the flag nor the anthem as standing for anything I hold dear, I do not intend to take advantage of this ruling. I have also given up displaying Old Glory lest anyone get the impression I support the madness from D.C.

FOWG1 on January 20, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Meet Nicholas Oresko, 96 years young.

It’s an honor to be able to meet a great one from the greatest generation.

Happy Birthday, Sir. Thank you for your service.

rukiddingme on January 20, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Happy birthday, Mr. Oresko!
love, one of American’s grateful daughters.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 20, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

You couldn’t keep your f*cking politics of of a birthday salute to a MOH recipient? Curse your black soul. Curse you.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Your explanation is inadequate.

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Your existence is inadequate, leech.

FOAD.

Solaratov on January 20, 2013 at 9:32 PM

“out” of …

and curse your black soul again

hawkdriver on January 20, 2013 at 9:33 PM

hawkdriver on January 20, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Don’t worry, he get his in either this life or the next!

MarshFox on January 20, 2013 at 9:38 PM

bernzright777 on January 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM
Keep it classy. Typical, you like to talk about the 47% when it serves your purposes and lends to your sense of victimization and self righteousness.

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Keep it classy?

You started the downhill trend in this thread with you asinine political comment. Here’s the answer you f*cking moron. Any vet that receives a pension deserves to not even be questioned as to the percentage of the population they receive said benefits through.

And you know what’s typical. A f*cking liberal on one thread talking about how we can reduce the deficit by reducing military spending to include COLA freezes on retirees and then try to make Conservatives feel bad about wishing a MOH recipient Happy Birthday. Did you hear anyone carping about the benefits this man receives? No, you didn’t. The entire thesis is something that exist solely in your deranged f*cking head.

And you are a POS. Nothing else would better describe what you did to this thread.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Master Sergeant Oresko, may God continue to Bless you, Happy Birthday and many, many happy returns.

Zorro on January 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Happy Birthday Master Sergeant Oresko & thank you for your service to the republic.

This grateful patriot, and all of the members of his household, wish you all the best; we are truly humbled by you selflessness patriotism and unparalleled courage. God Bless you Sir!

GreatCommunicator on January 20, 2013 at 10:00 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

For all you know he could still be working. Try to be appropriate.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Bayam, he has earned every penny that he may currently be costing taxpayers (and we don’t know that he is).

I join the others here in wishing the good master sergeant a happy birthday, and hope he has as many more as he wants.

Kevin K. on January 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Happy Birthday, Master Sergeant Oresko.

Just last week I interviewed a 91-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor for a story in our local paper. What an honor for me.

CJ on January 20, 2013 at 10:45 PM

On January 23, 1945, near Tettingen, Germany, Oresko, by then a master sergeant, single-handedly defeated a German bunker, was seriously wounded, and then destroyed a second bunker despite his injuries.

We need stricter gun control laws to protect us from these uncontrollable maniacs.

What?

WWII MOH recipient war story?????
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Never mind.

:)

Thank you, sir.

Shy Guy on January 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

…shoooting for… lower…than lowlife I see!

KOOLAID2 on January 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

In a world full of idiots who get things like Nobel Prizes for being idiots…the MoH still has currency to this day.

All is not lost.

CorporatePiggy on January 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Jazz, TY so much for this story.

Just spent the past 2 days with Father In Law who served in WWII in the Navy Armed Guard: saw action not only during Overlord but the Murmansk Run as well.

His wife of 60+ years was a 2LT in the US Army Nurse Corp.

Bayam, the fact that you tried (unsuccessfully, btw) to turn this salute (to REAL Men of Honor that were among the ranks of those that were willing to do the hard work to keep the WORLD safe) into some bass-ackward salute to Progressive GroupThink speaks volumes about your lack of character.

Actually it just proves that I wouldn’t waste a bucket of Mongolian Yak spit on you if your ass was on fire….

But I would toast marshmallows over the flames…and when the ash was left, save that to grit the path during the next snowstorm.

BlaxPac on January 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM

I was never in the service. Last summer I went to the SF military cemetery. There are Medal of Honor recipients there. If that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes I feel sad for you. I gladly pay my taxes to support anyone in the military and it is an honor in regards to these special men. Thank you.

CW20 on January 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 20, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I believe it can whip out the “Mission Accomplished” sign.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2013 at 12:16 AM

God bless Mr. Oresko, and your father, Jazz.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 21, 2013 at 12:31 AM

In a world full of idiots who get things like Nobel Prizes for being idiots…the MoH still has currency to this day.

All is not lost.

CorporatePiggy on January 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

And from what I’ve heard, to a man, they said they didn’t deserve their Medals of Honor, but rather that there were those braver than they that should have been awarded that award.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 21, 2013 at 12:34 AM

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Holy sh!t, your douchebaggery knows no bounds.

BallisticBob on January 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM

He arrived at Normandy the same month my father did, but by father didn’t see the action this guy did. Highest regards to a real hero in a real war where nations fought for their survival.

HiJack on January 21, 2013 at 1:16 AM

To individuals like bayam, there is no difference between this man and the Obamaphone woman. In fact, he might hold her in a slightly higher regard based on voting patterns.

The Count on January 21, 2013 at 1:17 AM

What Bayam will never understand is that without the welfare state and the freeloader mentality of the slave society in this country, the 47% would be more like 12%. But facts and figures are just bothersome objects that get in the way of his statist views of what he thinks society should be. He’s a liar and a fraud who couldn’t formulate an original thought if he had been the first person who had ever roamed the earth.

HiJack on January 21, 2013 at 1:31 AM

The only thing worth celebrating on this otherwise dreary and mournful day.

Happy birthday, M/Sgt Oresko and many more in good health!

Rixon on January 21, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Master Sergeant Oresko’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

M/Sgt. Oresko was a platoon leader with Company C, in an attack against strong enemy positions. Deadly automatic fire from the flanks pinned down his unit. Realizing that a machinegun in a nearby bunker must be eliminated, he swiftly worked ahead alone, braving bullets which struck about him, until close enough to throw a grenade into the German position. He rushed the bunker and, with pointblank rifle fire, killed all the hostile occupants who survived the grenade blast. Another machinegun opened up on him, knocking him down and seriously wounding him in the hip. Refusing to withdraw from the battle, he placed himself at the head of his platoon to continue the assault. As withering machinegun and rifle fire swept the area, he struck out alone in advance of his men to a second bunker. With a grenade, he crippled the dug-in machinegun defending this position and then wiped out the troops manning it with his rifle, completing his second self-imposed, 1-man attack.

Although weak from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated until assured the mission was successfully accomplished. Through quick thinking, indomitable courage, and unswerving devotion to the attack in the face of bitter resistance and while wounded, M/Sgt. Oresko killed 12 Germans, prevented a delay in the assault, and made it possible for Company C to obtain its objective with minimum casualties.

Rixon on January 21, 2013 at 8:28 AM

somebody who truly has earned the right to blow out as many damn candles as he can manage

He’s earned the right to have other people blow out the candles for him! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MSgt!

Hold on, according to the right is this man not a member of the 47% and a taker? Or is his retirement account completely self-funded?

bayam on January 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

He earned his retirement. Much more so than you have ever earned anything.

GWB on January 21, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Happy Birthday, Sir.

Veterans such as yourself make me proud to be an American.

(Bayam? Not so much . . .)

BigAlSouth on January 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM