For nearly eight decades, former Army Private Osceola “Ozzie” Fletcher’s experience in the Battle of Normandy went unrecognized.

Shortly after D-Day in 1944, Fletcher was in the back of a vehicle delivering supplies to Allied troops who were off the coast of France when he and his fellow service members were hit by a German missile.

Osceola “Ozzie” Fletcher, a Black World War II veteran who was wounded in the Battle of Normandy in 1944, was finally awarded a Purple Heart last week after being denied the honor for decades.

The driver was killed, and Fletcher was left with a large gash on his head.

Fletcher’s wound from that incident and others should have earned him a Purple Heart.

U.S. Army awards Purple Heart to 99-year-old Brooklyn veteran

But as was the case for many other Black Americans in the military, he was denied the honor due to racism.

Last week, 77 years after the fact and at the age of 99, Fletcher finally received the Purple Heart.

Fletcher’s daughter said her father feels “good” after receiving the medal. 

“I think it was an amazing weight off of his shoulders to finally be validated, to finally have his story out there,” she said.

“The sad thing is that there are so many more who have the same story and were never acknowledged.”

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

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