In a statement submitted to the Congressional Record this week, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, recognized Richard Lincoln, a 91-year-old combat veteran of Wayne, for his leadership and bravery demonstrated during World War II. Mark Winter, Collins’ Augusta state office representative, presented the Congressional Record Statement to Lincoln on the senator’s behalf at a ceremony at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta, according to a news release from Collins’ office in Washington, D.C.

“Showing courage, sacrifice, and devotion to duty, the all-draftee 88th Infantry Division played a significant role in the defeat of the German Army in Italy during World War II,” said Collins in the release. “Mr. Lincoln truly embodies these patriotic values, and I thank him for the personal sacrifices he has made to preserve our freedom at home and to keep us safe.”

At the age of 17, Lincoln served as a first scout in the 88th Infantry Division in the pivotal battle of Anzio, which permitted the Allied capture of Rome. During this grueling assault in the Italian Campaign of World War II, Lincoln repeatedly risked his life on the front lines to illuminate enemy batteries and regularly endured enemy fire, earning the Bronze Star.

The 88th became the first draftee division to enter a combat zone in World War II. In 344 days of combat, the 88th Infantry Division lost nearly 3,000 men, with more than 9,000 wounded.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen and current Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis learned of Lincoln’s story, and both wrote him letters thanking him for his service. Additionally, Mattis delivered remarks regarding the Maine veteran’s story in an address to the Association of the United States Army earlier this month. In addition to the copy of the Congressional Record presentation, last month Lincoln was presented Cohen’s and Mattis’ letters and shown a video of Mattis’ remarks at a ceremony in Augusta, where more than two dozen Maine veterans, from World War II through today, attended to congratulate Lincoln on his achievements and thank him for his service.

According to Lincoln’s daughter, Elaine Lincoln, he also received a coin and a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the state of Maine from David Richmond, deputy director of the Bureau of Veterans’ Services. The coin is a replica of the World War II plaque that hangs in the Maine State House in the Hall of Flags.

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