Major Wooten, who repaired bomb damaged trains in France as an Army soldier, will receive France’s highest decoration at medal ceremony and birthday party in Huntsville , according to a statement from the French consulate in Atlanta and his granddaughter, Holly McDonald.
“The Legion of Honor is awarded to French citizens as well as to foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it defends, including people who have contributed to the country professionally, as well as veterans such as Americans who risked their lives during the world war I am fighting on French soil, ”indicates the statement from the consulate.
The Consul General of France in Atlanta, Vincent Hommeril, will decorate Wooten with the medal, approved by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Enlisted in 1943, Wooten landed in France in 1944 and was one of four brothers serving at the same time during the war. He served at Le Mans before being sent to work at a train station in Paris, according to a summary of his service to the French.
Wooten returned home in 1946 after the war and had a postwar career with US Steel in Birmingham. He tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020 after his daughter contracted the disease, but recovered in time to spend his 104th birthday at home.
Wooten is “doing very well” despite the illness and recently participated in Veterans Day activities, McDonald said. The mental blur that initially appeared with the disease has faded, she said, and her physical strength has also recovered.
“We really saw improvement after the therapy,” she said.
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