WWII Vet Receives Federal, State Honors
Wed, 10/14/2020 - 1:10pm admin
A 102-year-old World War II veteran, Climeth Layman, received multiple honors from the United States Congress and the Missouri State Legislature at his home outside West Plains on October 9.
Surrounded by family, church community, and members of the press, former Staff Sergeant Layman took every opportunity to remind those present that his achievements are not his alone.
“I give the Lord the credit,” he said, “If not for doing what He done, I wouldn’t be here today.”
To start the ceremonies, Megan Nikki, field representative for U.S. Congressman Jason Smith, presented the man of the hour with an American flag that was flown in his honor over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Representative David Evans (R-154) presented Layman with a Missouri flag that was similarly flown over the Capitol building in Jefferson City in his honor.
Representative Karla Eslinger (R-155) arrived and presented him with a resolution from the Missouri State Senate sponsored by Senator Mike Cunningham (R-33). The body of the resolution was a stirring retelling of Staff Sergeant Layman’s military accomplishments.
Climeth Layman served in the 10th Armored Division of the United States Army, the resolution began. As a seasoned Staff Sergeant, Layman was in command of an anti-tank gun that landed on the beaches of Normandy on the second day of the D-Day invasion. His unit came under direct artillery fire, and Staff Sergeant Layman led his men to take shelter in a shell crater.
There in that crater, bullets and bombs all around, Climeth, “dedicated his life to the Lord and has kept that commitment to this day,” read the resolution.
His men captured seventeen German soldiers, who revealed critical information on the enemy’s position during interrogation. Every man in Sgt. Layman’s unit survived the war and saw American soil.
For his service, he was awarded the World War Two Victory Medal, the Bronze Star, the European Campaign medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. The resolution from the Missouri Senate, “applaud[ed] the personal, professional, and military accomplishments...with most heartfelt acclamation.”
The Missouri House of Representatives’ resolution presented by Rep. Evans echoed many of the sentiments of the Senate’s, but also applauded the life Layman has led since the War. At the age of 102, he has seen 18 presidents, read the resolution.
The assembly remained to celebrate with cake on the porch of Mr. Layman’s home, where he has resided for the last 39 years.
by Amanda Mendez, publisher