America's oldest living Tuskegee airman was finally recognized and honored with a Congressional Medal of Honor this past week. Brew Graham, 97, who was one of the first Black pilots to fight for the U.S. during World War II, had gone without recognition for seventy years.
In 2007, President George W. Bush presented the airmen with medals, but Graham was not invited to the ceremony. When Red Tails, a movie about the first African-American pilots who faced segregation and racism during their service, was released this year, Graham's wife reached out to Lucasfilm producers to ask why her husband wasn't honored for his contributions.
"My husband Brew Graham is a Tuskegee Airman with the 99th fighter squadron and is believed to be the oldest living one. He is 97 years old. No one has bothered to get in touch with him. We live in Riverdale Ga. You have our e-mail address. He has a hearing problem so he does not talk on the phone (only in person). Why is he being ignored?" she asked.
Since then, Graham has been verified as an original airman who served overseas in April 1943, he received a DVD of the movie along with film posters and was honored with a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal that was presented to 300 surviving airmen at the 2007 ceremony.
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