(Extensions of Remarks - March 10, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 42 (Friday, March 10, 2017)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E313-E314]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. KENNY MARCHANT

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, March 10, 2017

  Mr. MARCHANT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with the great honor and 
privilege of recognizing a true American Hero, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) 
James Megellas of Colleyville, Texas, in celebration of his 100th 
  Lieutenant Colonel James Megellas received his military commission on 
May 28th, 1942 as he walked the stage at his graduation from Ripon 
College in Ripon, Wisconsin. Simultaneously receiving his diploma and 
military orders, James became a newly commissioned officer in the 
United States Army. Since receiving his commission on that fateful day, 
LTC Megellas' incredible courage and selfless dedication to his country 
enabled him to become the most decorated officer in the history of the 
82nd Airborne Division. His exemplary service to our nation and 
outstanding bravery during the Second World War helped to liberate a 
continent and defend the freedom of millions of civilians in the 
European Theater.
  LTC Megellas reported for duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky on June 8, 1942 
and began preparing to enter the war. Soon thereafter, he was selected 
to become a paratrooper within the 82nd Airborne Division where he 
served for the duration of the war on the front lines of the European 
Theater. His experiences during the war brought him to Anzio, Italy 
where he fought in the Battle of Anzio; The Netherlands for Operation 
Market Garden and the Battle of Nijmegen where he crossed the Waal 
River; and in Belgium where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
  For his service during Operation Market Garden, LTC Megellas was the 
first American awarded the Military Order of Wilhelm, the oldest and 
highest honor awarded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Furthermore, 
LTC Megellas was awarded the Belgium Fouragere, by the Kingdom of 
Belgium for his bravery in defense of the Kingdom.

[[Page E314]]

  In addition to his foreign honors, LTC Megellas has received over 25 
awards for service and valor while serving in the U.S. Army. These 
honors include: the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two 
Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation with 
Oak Leaf Cluster, and six Campaign Stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, and 
Master Parachutist Badge to name but a few of his awards.
  Selfless action in the face of unspeakable atrocity is one of the 
defining characteristics of the Greatest Generation. LTC Megellas and 
his outstanding service stands as a shining example of how truly great 
this generation is. This example has set a high bar for which we as 
patriots and defenders of freedom should strive to achieve.
  After leaving active duty in 1946, LTC Megellas continued to serve in 
the U.S. Army Reserves for an additional 16 years where he reached the 
rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following his retirement from the Army 
Reserves, in November 1961, LTC Megellas was appointed by President 
John F. Kennedy to serve as Mission Director within the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) where he served in Yemen, Panama, 
Columbia, and Vietnam.
  LTC Megellas remains active in supporting veterans and service 
members across the globe. He regularly travels to speak with veterans, 
historians, and school children to share his experiences and to remind 
us all of the tremendous accomplishments of the Greatest Generation.
  Mr. Speaker, it is my great honor to stand before you today to wish 
this living legend a very happy birthday. I ask my distinguished 
colleagues to join me in wishing Lieutenant Colonel James Megellas a 
happy 100th birthday.