ARVets Stories: Roy Griffin

The Pre- 9/11 Outstanding Veteran Award recipient for the 2014 Salute Gala was Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin.

The Pre- 9/11 Outstanding Veteran Award recipient for the 2014 Salute Gala was Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin.

With so much focus on Post-9/11 Veterans, Americans must always remember to honor those men and women who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and other conflicts. During the 2014 Salute Gala, former Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin was presented the Outstanding Veteran Award for his service during World War II.

Griffin volunteered to serve in World War II on September 20, 1940 over a year before Pearl Harbor. Griffin helped establish the US Army’s first Engineer Shore Regiment, the 531st, training under the British for three months during its development. The purpose of the Regiment was to prepare the shore to receive boats and supplies during and after invasions.

A committed serviceman, Griffin participated in nine Campaigns in the European Theatre including: North Africa, French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe.

As part of a brigade of 330 men, Griffin was isolated from the 531st during the Battle of the Bulge and therefore did not return to the United States with the Regiment. The Brigade joined Patton’s Army and went back into Germany at Cologne, ultimately liberating Buchenwald Concentration Camp on April 11, 1945. After being awarded the Purple Heart during three years of combat, Griffin returned to the United States where he received commendations for good conduct as well as expert pistol and rifle merits.

Griffin married the love of his life prior to being deployed overseas and was married 64 years and 11 months before her death. He raised three daughters, has four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, with one on the way. Griffin revisited the invasion sites at Sicily, Italy and France (Normandy) with his family.

Though blinded by a recent stroke, he still gardens, attends church regularly, and eats out at least four days of the week at age 96. Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin is an American hero and ARVets thanks him for his service.

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