December 21, 2015
SAN DIEGO – Today at his San Diego office, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) awarded La Jolla resident and former Private First Class Donald Breitenberg a long overdue Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. Breitenberg reached out to Peters’ San Diego office in October after learning that he was eligible to receive the Bronze Star because of his combat service as an infantryman in Europe. Breitenberg joined the U.S. Army on March 1st, 1942 at the age of seventeen and went on to earn a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge.
“It was my honor to give Donald Breitenberg this long overdue recognition for his brave service,” Peters said. “Getting our San Diego World War Two veterans the recognition they have earned is the very least we can do to honor our greatest generation and the sacrifices they made for our nation. I am glad that my office and I were able to make this possible, and encourage other veterans and their families to reach out if they need help getting the benefits or recognition they earned through their service.”
After the ceremony, Breitenberg reflected on his service including jumping into France seven hours before the D-Day landings, fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, and liberating a German concentration camp. “It just opens up a lot of doors and memories,” Breitenberg said of receiving the Bronze Star.
Rep. Peters pins the Bronze Star Medal on former Private First Class Donald Breitenberg.
Soon after becoming the Chief of Staff of the Army in 1948, General Omar Bradley chose to recognize all World War II combat veterans by making them eligible to receive the Bronze Star Medal.