At the age of 96, World War II hero Nicholas Oresko has died. The New Jersey native, who was shot and left for dead by a German machine-gunner, was the United States' oldest living Medal of Honor recipient since early 2011. While at war, Oresko took out two enemy machine gun bunkers while injured; killed about 12 German soldiers; and prevented many American causalities. He outlived every member of his family and spent his final days, appropriately, surrounded by veterans and younger members of the military.
After word got out that Oresko had been hospitalized, military members from Maine, Maryland, and other states made it to New Jersey to be by his side in his final days. "They understood the type of person we were talking about and said, 'We can't let him die alone,'" a friend of Oresko said. "He's loved throughout the Army. He's an American hero."
Wow. Talk about a band of brothers.
It would have been a great tragedy if, after everything he did for our country, Oresko died completely alone. It's so nice thinking that fellow veterans and active military members all rallied to be around him when it was his time to go. He's a hero, and this is exactly how it should have been: Leaving with friends and admirers by his side.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Oresko. Now may you rest in peace.
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Image via Medal of Honor Book/YouTube