Korean War vet honored over 25 years after his death

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March 3, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C.---President Bush has awarded the Medal of Honor to the family of Master Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Keeble, a Sioux Indian soldier in the Korean War. Keeble's stepson accepted for him.

Master Sergeant Keeble is the first Sioux to receive the award.

He died in 1982.

President Bush apologized for the country's delay in honoring Keeble. Fellow soldiers, family members and others have been urging for years that Keeble should get the medal.

Four lawmakers from the Dakotas introduced legislation to make the move, and the President signed it last year.

Master Sergeant Keeble, known as "Chief" and "Woody", also served
in World War Two.

He grew up in poverty and attended the Wahpeton Indian School in North Dakota. He was also a highly-regarded baseball pitcher who drew the attention of scouts from the Chicago White Sox before his Army National Guard unit was called up in World War Two.

For his actions in combat he previously received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in October 1951 against Chinese forces. Although already wounded, Master Sergeant Keeble single-handedly destroyed three enemy machine-gun bunkers and killed seven more enemy soldiers in the area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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