Most decorated living Texas veteran honored in hometown of Howe

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

HOWE, TEXAS -- In the small town of Howe is a big American hero.

L.B. Kirby is the most decorated living veteran in the state of Texas, with seven Bronze Stars, two Bronze Arrowheads and a Purple Heart, awarded for his service in the army during World War II.

Community members and fellow veterans gathered to see Kirby recognized with a city street and "L.B. Kirby Day", declared in his honor.

"He and others of his generation did the same thing: they fought the good fight. They won the battle for the free world," retired U.S. Marshal and Vietnam veteran John Moore said.

Moore spoke at the ceremony, and in an emotional spur of the moment, gave Kirby his own Bronze Star.

"I can't think of anybody who's more deserving of it than he is; certainly more than I will be," Moore said.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Kirby's heroic achievements is that for decades, he never told anyone about his awards, including his brother Jerry.

"We never knew that he was a decorated hero until just the last few years. My mother and dad passed away never knowing that he was a decorated hero," Jerry Kirby said.

Jerry says his big brother's heroism wasn't a complete surprise, as Kirby always protected and defended him as a boy.

"I mean he made sure that nobody beat his little brother up," Jerry Kirby said.

L.B. Kirby turns 89 on Monday, which is Veterans Day.

Unlike many other World War II veterans, he's fortunate to be present to experience this honor from his hometown.

"It's the least we can do to honor them while they can be here to enjoy the celebration," Moore said.

"We love him," Jerry Kirby said.


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