Walk in your Vision

The Legion of Honor-Torres presented with prestigious French award

(Herman “Tip” Torres Sr.) receiving the French Legion Medal of Honor, the highest honor in France. Presenting him with the medal is the Honorable Jean Claude Brunet, Consul General of France in New Orleans.

Posted Jun. 18, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
Updated Jun 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Herman “Tip” Torres served in the 2nd Armored Division under the command of General George S. Patton in World War II. He was one to cross the English Channel from England to reach Normandy and landed on Omaha Beach 70 years ago. On June 6 in New Orleans, he was awarded with the Legion of Honor, one of the most prestigious decorations in France, with the rank of Chevalier by Honorable Jean Claude Brunet, Consul General of France.

Torres, 92, has gotten medals before for his service, but this one is truly special.

“It’s really an honor,” Torres said, who has also received the Croix de Guerre medal. “I feel good about it. I served my country and I feel good about. And the best part about it was that I was able to come home with very little scratches.”

“I thank God everyday I made it back safely,” Torres said. “I got married and raised a good family.”

Since fighting at Omaha Beach, and also fighting at the Battle of the Bulge and other locations, Torres was able to build a big family of four children, 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren.

With a family of that size, he was not alone in receiving his Legion of Honor medal.

Torres’ grandchildren Ryan Torres and Kayla Lamonte said their grandfather gives them a lot of family pride.

“For someone as young as he was when he made the 3+ year tour beginning in Africa and finally into Berlin, I can’t begin to imagine the bravery it took to continue on with the mission each and every day,” Ryan Torres said, who lives in Zachary.

Lamonte said she was very proud to be with him, and some of the family, when he received the Legion of Honor Award.

“Many men and women in the military did not make it home,” Lamonte said, who lives in Hammond. “I am very grateful that he is still with us and can carry on his legacy in our family. He is my hero and my rock.”

Lamonte and Ryan Torres said their grandfather opens up about being part of the “Hell on Wheels” division and has recently started sharing other stories of his journey to survive.

Lamonte said she believe his service and heroism has shaped him into the man he is today, “which has been a huge blessing to me because he has shared his wisdom with me.”

“Since I was a little girl, I have always been very close to him, looked up to him, and listened to his advice,” Lamonte said. “I know that my successes and accomplishments are partly because of him. He always supported and encouraged me to get my education. He told me I would always go to college, and boy was he right. I went on to earn a degree and several advanced degrees. I owe that partly to him.”

Ryan Torres added, “I am so happy that he was able to receive the French Legion Medal of Honor. He certainly deserves it and it was great to see him honored for his sacrifices.”

Read more: http://www.donaldsonvillechief.com/article/20140618/News/140619604#ixzz35BnpOgsg