Savannah pastor honored with Lifetime of Service Award

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - American Legion Post 500 is marking this Black History month by honoring one of the 2,221.

Reverend Matthew Southall Brown was recognized with the Lifetime of Service Award on Wednesday. Brown fought in the Battle of the Bulge back in World War II. He was one of 2,221 black volunteers who stepped up to help. At the time, blacks were not allowed to outrank white soldiers, so in order to join, the black soldiers' ranks were all dropped down to private.

Those volunteers went unrecognized until former President Bill Clinton reinstated their ranks during his time as President.

"He sent for those fellows who gave up their ranks, he restored their ranks and gave them back pay. Now, that's not written anywhere," Rev. Brown said.

At 95-years-old, Rev. Brown continues to serve his community and he's been telling others about the dedication of the 2,221 for nearly eight decades now.

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