Stoughton WWII veteran honored with Congressional Gold Medal

Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 9:57 PM CDT
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Congress is honoring a group of American spies who served during World War II -- among them, a man from Stoughton. Their success was rooted in staying hidden and keeping secrets.

"They annihilated a couple of German battalions," Matt Bolland explained.

Matt is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Gerhard Bolland. Gerhard was one of 13,000 members of the World War II spy society -- the Office of Strategic Services.

"This is him in his prime," Bolland said, looking at a picture of his father.

"Lt. Colonel silver oak leaf, paratrooper badge with a battle star in the middle. That means he jumped into action behind enemy lines."

Wednesday, Bolland's family traveled to Washington for a special honor at the U.S. Capitol.

"It wasn't until basically today their story could finally be told, Congress recognized their contributions to the war effort," Bolland explained.

The Congressional Gold medal is the highest civilian honor congress can hand out. At the ceremony at Emancipation Hall, House Speaker Paul Ryan made the official presentation to all of the members the Office of Strategic Services.

"A moment that know so many of you have been working for for so long," Rep. Ryan said.

"The rest of the world can now see what a hero he was," Bolland shared.

Honoring the OSS doesn't end with the Gold Medal. A new museum showcasing their service is expected to open near Washington, D.C. by 2020.