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Montgomery County Salutes Its WWII Veterans

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Paul Tilley and his father, WWII veteran William Reese Tilley, 92, came out to the Montgomery County ceremony in honor those residents who served in the war.
Markette Smith
Paul Tilley and his father, WWII veteran William Reese Tilley, 92, came out to the Montgomery County ceremony in honor those residents who served in the war.

More than 150 World War II veterans, some who fought in some of the deadliest and fiercest battles ever fought by the U.S. military, were honored in a salute today in Montgomery County.

For 92-year-old William Reese Tilley, his World War II service began in College Park, as he attended the University of Maryland. He got married and the very next day, he was shipped out, serving in North Africa and Europe.

Some 70 years later, Tilley says he'll never forget his days on the battlefield.

"I'm glad I lived through it and came back home," says Tilley.

Many of the veterans in attendance say they were glad the county acknowledged them.

"It feels wonderful to be recognized in my hometown," says Charles Frazier, one of the first African-Americans to serve in the Marine Corps. "Very seldom do you get that recognition."

County Executive Isaiah Leggett says the ceremony is part of a larger outreach effort.

"I think we need to provide them with the services and the programs that they need, but also the recognition that they deserve," says Leggett.

Leggett is following up the event with a search to fill five vacant volunteer positions on the county's commission on veteran's affairs.

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