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Pioneering North Texas Marine Receives Overdue Honor

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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GRAND PRAIRE (CBS 11 NEWS) – Leo Parros received a distinctive honor Tuesday. It took him back to his hopes and dreams as an 11-year-old boy.

“There was a desire to be a Marine. When I expressed that to a kid in my neighborhood, he said ‘Leo, there’s no such thing as a black Marine’,” Parros said

By the age of 17, Leo Parros would join the Marines, a Marine Corps separated and segregated by race.  The year was 1944. 19-thousand men assigned to Montford Point would be the nation’s first black Marines.

63-years years after his service to our country, Parros received Tuesday the nation’s highest civilian honor, The Congressional Gold Medal.

Recognition not just for service, but for endurance, an American serving a nation that saw him as less than.

“It’s 60 years late, but I’m glad that it happened and I honor it, and respect it because I know men this was important to,” Perros said

Parros now calls Garland his home. His sons and daughter are living the American dream.

At the age of 86, the Marine Corps, the U-S Congress, and the nation as a whole, paid tribute to the young boy who dreamed of being a Marine. He is American who faced his country’s legacy of racism, but still chose to fight for our nation.

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