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Durham Army Veteran Gets Bronze Star Medal At 90

Army Institute of Heraldry

A 90-year-old World War II veteran will receive a high military honor in Durham. 

Jack Hammersley will put on an Army uniform once again to receive the Bronze Star for bravery and meritorious service.  He was one of the soldiers that stormed Omaha Beach during the 1944 invasion of Normandy. Hammersley fought in several subsequent battles as well saying he was fortunate to have never been injured. 

He says one of his most interesting jobs was nowhere near the front lines.  As one of General George Patton's personal drivers, he would be ordered to transport the Army leader at a moment's notice

"I didn't know where we were going and I told him..I said there's a lot of land mines out there," Hammersley recalls.   "He said well if we hit them, we'll just keep going.  That's the type man he was."

Hammersley's ceremony will be at Durham County Stadum.  Politicians will join the community in honoring a man they call a hero, but Hammersley says he doesn't see himself that way.  He says he was just doing his duty in serving his country.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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