WWII veteran awarded ‘Veteran of the Year’ in Ludlow

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On Monday morning, Ludlow honored the men and women who served in the armed forces, in observance of Veterans Day. 

The ceremony commemorated the 100th anniversary of World War I, which was November 11. A reenactment of the presentation of the Croix de Guerre was performed – that’s when the 26th Infantry Division, Massachusetts First, was awarded the first foreign decoration for bravery in battle. 

“They received it twice, making them the only U.S. unit to receive it twice,” said Eric Segundo, the director of veterans services in Ludlow.

Several awards were given out during the ceremony, including the “Veteran of the Year.”

Carlos “Charlie” Santos served during WWII and was awarded a Purple Heart.  

“I went through Casablanca, then Africa, then through Sicily, then Italy,” said Santos. “Then, I got wounded there and came back to the states.”

He was hospitalized for more than a year, and doctors were afraid he would never walk again. But, he walked across the stage today to accept his “Veteran of the Year” award. 

“That generation is just the strongest guys in the world to me,” said Ludlow Selectman Derek DeBarge. “It’s just great to have one here.”

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