FUNSTON — Almost 61 years after trudging through snow-covered fields of France, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia, Sgt. Edward S. “Dick” Chambers was honored for his bravery Thursday.

Chambers, the mayor of Funston for the last 48 years, was presented with seven awards for his service with Company G, 38th Infantry during World War II. He was awarded a Bronze Star, Good Conduct medal, American Campaign medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with three bronze service stars, World War II Victory medal, Combat Infantry Badge (first award) and Honorable Service in World War II lapel button.

About 60 people, including Colquitt County dignitaries and veterans, filled the Funston Community Center for the awards ceremony. In addition to his awards, Chambers was read a proclamation from Commissioner Ray Saunders, and grandson Scott Chambers read a notice stating a U.S. flag was flying on Capital Hill Thursday in honor of Chambers. The flag will be sent to him with a letter of appreciation from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Chambers said he did not know he was going to receive all of the awards he did, but he was very proud to receive them. While serving in Central Europe, however, Chambers never thought about earning awards years later but had other concerns.

“I was proud I got home safe and sound,” Chambers said.

Going into Europe as a replacement soldier following the Battle of the Bulge, Chambers said he left Boston Harbor on Dec. 24, 1944, his one-year wedding anniversary. He arrived in Scotland six days later and fought through Central Europe to arrive in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on V-E Day May 7, 1945.

Chambers and his unit fought in the Battle of Ardennes in Germany and throughout Rhineland Central Europe on a mission to Pilsen. He was sent to the United States to train for fighting in the Pacific, but Japan surrendered before he finished training.

Col. John P. Lopez, commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, said he met Chambers at MCLB and discovered Chambers was in the same unit as his father. Lopez’s father and Chambers were reunited, and Lopez found out Chambers had not received all the awards he was due and began to recover those for him. He felt it was a great way to honor Chambers for his service both in the war and to the community.

“This was a great honor for a man who has dedicated his life to his country and his community,” Lopez said. “He embodies the American spirit.”

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