There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as 94-year-old Fred Selko was awarded the Chevalier Legion of Honor. It’s the highest honor given by the French government for military service.
Fred was born in Brooklyn and now lives in Eugene. He has four kids, 19 grandchildren and even great and great-great grandchildren.
He received several medals for his service in France and Germany, but this one was an honor that left him extremely humbled.
“I’m not a hero. I just did what I was supposed to do. I was just being paid for what I was told to do,” said Fred Selko.
“To see my father receive this award for what he did during the war is an honor to me, and secondarily is an honor to any veteran who has passed and has not or will not be able to receive this award,” said Andy Selko, Fred’s son.
The French consul from Portland also handed Fred a document signed by the French president.
Some of Fred’s relatives even flew into Eugene to surprise him and attend the ceremony that was at the federal courthouse, making it even more special for this World War II veteran.