Minnesota WWII paratrooper presented with prestigious French military honor

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A Minnesota World War II veteran was honored Sunday with the highest decoration France can present to a foreign citizen.

"I'm flabbergasted," Jim Carroll said after receiving a standing ovation during the ceremony, during which he was honored with the Knight of the Legion of Honor Medal, according to FOX 9.

"Today we honored a true American hero who put his life on the line so we could live free," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. "Jim Carroll is a living symbol of our country's Greatest Generation who answered the call to serve and stood against tyranny helping to liberate France and its people."

Carroll was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division during the D-Day invasion and in Holland. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He also spent 30 days over Christmas in a fox hole in Germany, WCCO notes.

Carroll told the Star Tribune receiving the medal brings up memories about the war.

"I never forget things about the war," he told the paper, adding his time in Europe was "interesting" and he "wouldn't want to do it again."

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Carroll grew up in Missouri and enlisted in the Army shortly after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

After World War II, he eventually moved to the Twin Cities and married a girl from Minneapolis, the Star Tribune says. He worked as a machine shop foreman for 28 years, then as a bus driver for Bloomington schools before retiring in 1999 at age 75.

He's still active in the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation.

Carroll has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his heroics by the U.S. Military.

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