Army Veteran John “Jerry” Lesanski is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran John “Jerry” Lesanski, who fought in the Battle of Saint-Lô during World War II and received a Purple Heart.

John “Jerry” Lesanski was born May 1912 in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, to a military family. His father served in World War I with the Army and then ran a barber shop. Before enlisting in the Army, Lesanski and his brother both helped their father in the barber shop. Lesanski was also a coal miner.

On Nov. 6, 1940, he enlisted in the Army to serve during World War II. His brother was older than him, but Lesanski enlisted so that his brother wouldn’t have to.

Lesanski served with the 12th Infantry Regiment during the battle of D-Day and European theater operations. He was one of the early drivers of World War II Army jeeps. He also served as a baker and cook second class. A skilled rifleman, he received a Marksmanship Qualification Badge with a Rifle Bar.

On July 7, 1944, Lesanski was fighting in the Battle of Saint-Lô when he was shot in the leg. He was sent to the hospital, where he spent 13 months in recovery. It was in the hospital when Lesanski met General Dwight D. Eisenhower. A local newspaper interviewed Lesanski, who said, “General Eisenhower is a regular fellow.” Lesanski also suffered a fractured hand, lower left rib contusion, a concussion and laceration to the head, a sprained ankle and paralysis.

He honorably discharged Sept. 27, 1945. Lesanski received a Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart, an Army Good Conduct Medal and a Combat Infantryman Badge during his service.

He was a member of the American Legion Post 91, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Post 2110, Bishop Knights of Columbus Council 628, the West End Fire company and a Purple Heart Foundation Member.

Lesanski passed away on May 8, 2000.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Lauren Stauffer/Aubrey Hutson

Editor: Elissa Tatum

Fact checker: Candler Weinberg

Graphic artist: Helena Strohmier

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Published on Oct. 19, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 86

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network October 19, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    We honor the service of John “Jerry” Lesanski.

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