JOHNSTON, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today hosted a special medal ceremony honoring Mr. Alfred Bettencourt, 89, of Cranston, at the Morgan Health Center today in Johnston. Before a crowd of well-wishers that included Mr. Bettencourt’s family, neighbors, and friends, as well as Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, fire and police officials, and other local dignitaries, Senator Reed presented Mr. Bettencourt with the military honors he earned in combat but never received.
Private First Class Alfred Bettencourt was just 18 years old when he was wounded in combat on December 12, 1944 in France during World War II. Mr. Bettencourt’s military records were destroyed in a fire in 1973, and Senator Reed’s office worked with Mr. Bettencourt to obtain the medals he earned during his service.
“It is an honor to present Mr. Bettencourt with his military awards. Mr. Bettencourt is a member of the Greatest Generation, and he exemplifies the courage and extraordinary selflessness that is emblematic of our World War II veterans. Alfred was just a teenager when he was wounded in combat. On behalf of a grateful nation, today we honor his service with a token of our enduring gratitude and respect,” said Reed, a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator Reed presented Mr. Bettencourt with the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the World War II Victory Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.
The attention to orders for the awards noted that Mr. Bettencourt’s service “was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon himself and the United States of America.”