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School salutes janitor

November 12, 2012

NEWNAN, GA — The focus of a Veterans Day talk at Smokey Road Middle School was a janitor who, it turned out, was an unacknowledged Medal of Honor soldier, according to the Times-Herald.

veteran 1Don Harvel, a retired brigadier general, told the story of William J. Crawford, who received the medal for actions in World War II and later was a janitor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the article stated.

According to the article, a cadet at the Air Force Academy was reading for a class when he ran across a passage about William J. Crawford, who proved his bravery in "a very violent battle that took place in Italy" in 1943; in the midst of "very intense fighting," Crawford single-handedly killed three groups of attacking Germans to allow his unit to survive and move forward.

Crawford, once shown the passage, "looked at the book, stared at the picture for a minute and said simply, 'Yep,'" the article noted.

Crawford's story is a reminder to be cautious about labeling people and to remember that everyone deserves respect, that courtesy is important and that anyone can become a hero, the article added.

"Leaders should always be humble. Mr. Crawford was too busy doing his job as a janitor to celebrate his past heroics," Harvel said.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.