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World War II veteran gets honored at Creighton basketball game

Posted at 8:01 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 09:01:32-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — All kinds of buzz swirled the city of Omaha for one Big East match-off: the Creighton versus Marquette basketball game.

But the crowd also went wild for one special person: Paul Robbins, a World War II veteran who was honored by Creighton Athletics and Berry Law during the game.

Ninety-seven-year-old Robbins served from 1943 to 1946 as a plankowner on the USS New Jersey.

"When I went aboard, 90 percent of the crew was between 18 and 20, around that. And one of the destroyers, I just figured most of them were around that age," Robbins said.

Robbins was honored with a medal from attorney and fellow veteran John Berry. The crowds at the game gave rousing applause and a standing ovation, but Berry says this could never match to the blood, sweat, and tears Robbins has poured into this country.

"Their hardships were much more difficult than ours. When I was in Iraq, we still were able to call home from time to time," Berry said.

Berry has a grandiose goal in mind for a member of "The Greatest Generation."

"Bringing Mr. Robbins out there, to have him see that people still care, that what he has done mattered and it matters now, more than ever," Berry said.

It's a timely reminder that those who sacrificed and set examples before us are still here.

"I hope that leaders from my generation step forward the way Mr. Robbins' generation did," Berry said.

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