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Veteran De La Fuente receives proclamation from city

Joseph De La Fuente receives a proclamation from the city of Sturgis, presented by mayor Frank Perez and vice mayor Aaron Miller, at the commission meeting Wednesday. Dennis Volkert/Sentinel

City of Sturgis on Wednesday presented a proclamation for Joseph De La Fuente, a veteran of the Korean War, who recently attended the Talons Out Honor Flight.
He was presented with a plaque Wednesday at the city commission meeting.
On May 4, De La Fuente traveled with other Michigan veterans to Washington, to visit the Korean War Memorial.
At the meeting Wednesday, he described his recollection of the experience. He was able to view the name of a close comrade at the wall.
“It was my biggest ambition to see his name,” De La Fuente said.
He also noted the reception veterans received in Portage during departure and return.
“I will never forget it for the rest of my life. What a beautiful thing that was.”
De La Fuente served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1956, serving in Korea, Texas, Austria, Germany and Italy, in the First Cavalry Division and 279th Regimental Combat Team as part of the 45th Infantry Division. He entered at the rank of private, serving later as an MP in Houston, and Salzburg and Vienna in Austria. He was discharged as corporal.
De La Fuente married Ann Boyce and eventually they moved to Sturgis. Over 64 years of marriage, they raised seven children, with nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. They have been residents of the Sturgis area for 53 years.
The city’s proclamation states formal gratitude to De La Fuente for his service.
It reads, in part: “Be it resolved that the city of Sturgis honors Sturgis veteran Joseph De La Fuente, and thanks him for his selfless service in the protection of his country and her citizens.”

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