Author Frazer awarded DAR Medal of Honor
Patriotism is often measured by a person’s love for their country.
Oftentimes, that devotion is measured by the dedication to honoring those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Montgomery’s Rod Frazer exemplifies this as much as any person who calls the United States home.
Frazer recently received the highest award given by the National Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for his work researching World War I and the Alabamians that fought in Europe. He was presented with the DAR Medal of Honor in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 23.
The University of Alabama Press published Frazer’s book, “Send the Alabamians,” in 2014. Since then, the UA press has classified the book as a classic in the field of WWI research.
“The award, while humbling, was not for me,” Frazer said. “I accepted it on behalf of the men from Alabama who fought and died in World War I. It’s a significant part of Alabama and Butler County history.”
Frazer’s father, Will Frazer, fought with the 167th infantry during World War I. “Send the Alabamians,” details the battle that took place in an ancient village of France. The Battle of Croix Rouge Farm transpired on July 26, 1918. The 200th anniversary of the battle will be celebrated with the unveiling of the new WWI monument in Greenville.
“My father, along with the other 3,677 men from Alabama who served in WWI deserved this recognition,” Frazer said. “The Battle of Croix Rouge Farm was significant because it helped spur along the German retreat out of France. A total of 136 Alabamians were killed in the battle. It was one of the bloodiest days in Alabama history second only to Gettysburg.”
The DAR Medal of Honor isn’t the first award Frazer has received for his work. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor and was also a decorated soldier for his service in the Korean War.
“I purchased a piece of the land at the battle site of Croix Rouge Farm and donated it to the French government,” he said. “I feel it’s important enough to preserve such a piece of land.”
Frazer said his father was wounded at the battle. His father’s experience in Europe was one of the central themes of Frazer’s childhood.
“Dad was very proud of his service as was all of the Alabamians who returned home,” he said. “These guys may not have had that big of an impact had it not been for the war. My dad was a simple guy from Butler County who fought to liberate Europe. It’s truly an amazing story.”
Frazer is currently working on a new book about the United State’s involvement in the Argon Forest during WWI.
“The US had a bigger force in the Argon Forest than we did in the invasion of Normandy,” he said. “This war needs to be remembered and the men who fought and died must be memorialized. WWI is often times overshadowed. I dedicated a lot of my life to making sure it isn’t.”
Of the 3,677 Alabamians who fought in WWI, 639 were killed in action. The nation as a whole had more men killed in WWI than in Korea and Vietnam combined.
“All the work I did on ‘Send the Alabamians’ was done as a memorial to my father,” Frazer concluded. “It’s also a way for me to help preserve the memory of what the Americans did in WWI. We saved freedom. That should never be forgotten.”
Frazer will speak at the Fort Dale DAR WWI plaque unveiling on July 26.