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This 101-year-old NYC native just received an honor that was 80 years in the making



NEW YORK — A 101-year-old World War II veteran from New York City has received France’s Legion of Honor for helping liberate France from the Nazis.

Brooklyn native World War II veteran honored for service

On Friday, Jack Hausman received France’s Legion of Honor — the French Republic’s highest honorary distinction.  

“It took me 80 years to get this honor,” he said.

“I’m so thankful that after all these years he got this recognition that’s long overdue,” said Hausman’s daughter Linda Margolis.  

Hausman, a Brooklyn native, was drafted when he was 21 years old.

“My aim was to stay alive for the day,” he said.

Hausman began his service under General George Patton, crawling through minefields and eventually building bridges, enabling supplies and weapons to reach the United States Army infantry. All of the bridges had to be built by hand.

“The only equipment we had was a bulldozer,” Hausman said.

With no tools and nowhere to hide, Hausman would build foxholes to avoid getting shot. 

“No one else had a foxhole. I was the only– They used to laugh at me for digging a foxhole, but I dug it, and thank God. I saved three guys,” he said.

After the war, Hausman married his high school sweetheart and worked at his family’s business in box manufacturing.

He finally retired at the age of 98, but he says that was only because of the COVID pandemic.

“The virus was going around. They threw me out,” he said, laughing.

103-year-old World War II veteran from Long Island to be honored

Hausman isn’t the only centenarian from the Tri-State Area being honored.

Dominick Critelli, a 103-year-old World War II veteran living on Long Island, says he will be going to Utah Beach this summer to be knighted by the French government.

The ceremony is set for June 6, which will mark 80 years since D-Day.

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