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WWII Veteran Lehman Riggs Passes Away At 101-Years-Old

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
WWII Veteran Lehman Riggs Passes Away At 101-Years-Old

Putnam County’s oldest veteran 101-year-old Lehman Riggs passed away Thursday.

Mayor Randy Porter said Riggs was one of the nicest individuals he ever met.

“I got to know him over several years, and he was just a good, christian man,” Porter said. “Very humble, kind, gentle, but he was very dedicated to the Honor Guard and serving veterans and their families.”

Riggs was a Staff Sergeant in World War II, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and participated in over 1,000 veteran funerals. Porter said his heroic tour was published in Life Magazine in 1945.

“They were sharp shooting, and they were trying to draw fire to get some of our troops out of harms way,” Porter said. “Him and his comrade there, they were taking turns on top of a hotel taking turns looking over the brick wall and shooting at the enemy. His comrade that was with him when he raised up to shot, a sniper got him and killed him there. I don’t know how Mr. Riggs survived. To read about and hear about it, just unbelievable.”

Porter said seeing Riggs play taps one last time at the county courthouse on Memorial Day was one of most touching moments in his life.

“That was such a special occasion, and I am so glad that we got to do that,” Porter said. “He wanted to play taps one last time. Even though he was in a wheel chair, he came and stood and played taps.”

Porter said Riggs’ service says to the Putnam community that if we could be just half as dedicated, it would be unbelievable what people could accomplish.


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