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Hometown Patriot: Glenn Mason - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Hometown Patriot: Glenn Mason

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

We introduced you briefly to Glenn Mason, a World War II Vet from Shreveport last week on the Fourth of July. But, we want to tell you a little more about him since he makes celebrating America's Independence a week-long event.

Every time the USA celebrates a birthday, Glenn Mason, who's closing in on his 98th birthday, gets his house all decorated and throws a big party for family, friends and caregivers.

"My finest day in the world is the Fourth of July" says Mason.

He wants people to not take freedom for granted since well more than a million Americans have given their lives defending it.

Mason was willing to give his life, serving in the Navy in World War II and going ashore the pivotal Battle on Okinawa.

"I slept with a dagger, a flashlight and a knife. A big knife so if I got attacked in my tent, I could do something about it" says Mason.

Fortunately, that never happened. But later, after the war and while still on Okinawa and after a typhoon, Mason says he swam out more than 300 yards in rough waters to pull a man back to shore. He helped save two others on that man's ship that had crashed against a coral reef. For that, Mason was awarded a Legion of Merit award. Later, a list of Medal of Honor winners for a Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, showcased Mason's artistic talent.

"He said, ‘how long would it take you to draw 44 men?' I said 18 months and that's what I did" recounts Mason.

Mason not only sketched all the heroes, which were turned into bronze etchings at the museum, Mason also drew their battle scenes and they're all published in a book.

A broken hip keeps Glenn Mason in bed most of the time now but he looks back with pride at his service.

"I'll to it tomorrow" says Mason.

Interesting note about Mason's Legion of Merit award is that an admiral tore it up right in front of him after giving Mason a choice of keeping it or becoming his top aide. Mason decided he couldn't say no to serving under Admiral John Dale Price. Currently, his family is working to get the award back.

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