World War II veteran awarded Congressional Gold Medal on 99th birthday

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A World War II veteran was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal during his 99th birthday celebration in Houston on Saturday.

Arthur Jackson was 19 years old when he left Houston to join the Marines. He and the other men known as the Montford Point Marines were among the first African American members of the Marine Corps.


Now, 80 years later he was recognized for his trailblazing service to the nation.

"I see Corporate Jackson as a trailblazer. I am an active duty Black Marine Corps sergeant major because of guys like him," said a Marine who attended the birthday celebration. "Looking at what they went through back in those days of segregated recruit training, so for us to come out here today is truly historic."

The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress's highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements by any individual.


SEE RELATED: 3 Texas Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to police who protected Capitol during insurrection

Follow Stefania Okolie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.