Minnesota World War II veteran honored by French government

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A Minnesota World War II veteran received a high honor Wednesday.

Arnold Zahratka, 96-years-old, of Montgomery, Minnesota was given the Legion of Honor medal by the French government.

Zahratka fought the Germans while serving in France.

The award is the highest distinction France gives those who have achieved remarkable deeds for their country.

“Very amazing, never did I think I would get something like that,” Zahratka said.  “Really amazing how good people are all over. No matter what country. They are all good people.”

“Mister Zahratka, you are a true hero,” Yannick Tagand, Consul General of France to the Midwest said. “Thanks to you I grew up in a free country. This medal and today’s ceremony aim at marking France’s eternal gratitude for the liberation of my country France.”

Zahratka was married for 73 years and says the secret to live a long life is to drink a lot of scotch.