Yellow Springs, Ohio resident Jonas Bender was proud to serve as a member of the Montford Point Marines. Bender and 20,000 members of the group who broke the Corps’ color barrier were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal recently in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama signed the bill awarding the medal to the Montford Point Marines last year.
Bender, 87, is one of 400 Marines still living of the 20,000 who trained at the segregated boot camp of Montford Point in North Carolina between 1942 and 1949.
The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest civilian honors. Bender shared his stories with WYSO about life as a Montford Point Marine and what it was like to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.