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Medal of Honor recipient, Greenup County resident Ernie West, has died

Published: May. 1, 2021 at 1:09 PM EDT
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GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Medal of Honor Recipient, and Greenup County resident Ernie West, has died.

Tom Clay, president of the Greenup County Medal of Honor Committee, confirmed the news to WSAZ.

West was 89 years old.

Clay says West passed a little after midnight Saturday.

“We just lost a true American hero,” Clay told WSAZ. “He was wonderful for his country, he was wonderful for Kentucky, and he was wonderful for his community in Greenup County. He will be sadly missed.”

West was a football coach at Wurtland for some time, according to Clay.

Each year, West and John W. Collier are honored by the Greenup County Medal of Honor Committee. West and Collier were both from Greenup County and fought in the Korean War.

Collier received his medal posthumously as he heroically jumped on a grenade to save his platoon during the war. He was 21 years old.

West received his medal for his efforts in running through heavy fire to pull soldiers out of harm’s way. He lost an eye from his service.

West was honored with a banner in Greenup County thanks to efforts by a middle school class back in November 2020.

“We do not teach patriotism, and we do not teach our kids enough about the history of what our veterans have gone through,” said Amy Hogsett, who is West’s daughter, at the time.

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