June 25, 2018

This morning, I had the honor of presenting Captain Martin Gelb, who lives in Derry, New Hampshire, with the Congressional Gold Medal for his service to our country during World War II. As one of just 100 surviving members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, Martin served our country in secret, and his bravery was classified – even to his family – until 10 years ago. He’s truly a hero among us.

Captain Gelb first joined the Army and then was recruited by the OSS to be a radio officer. His missions brought him to England and then to France and Germany, where he collected intelligence behind enemy lines. Among Captain Gelb’s tremendous contributions, he supported the allied troops during D-Day and the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. He exhibited extraordinary bravery during a pivotal moment in history.

On March 21, 2018, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded, collectively, to the members of OSS in recognition of their superior service and contributions to American efforts during World War II; however, Martin was not able to attend. It was truly a privilege to present this medal to him at the Derry Town Hall, surrounded by family, friends and members of his community. 

This morning, Captain Gelb spoke about the lifelong friends that he made in the service and the sorrow he feels at being the only one left alive. We’d all be living in a very different world if it weren’t for the bravery of Captain Gelb and many others of his generation. We owe our freedom to men and women like Captain Gelb. 

Thank you.



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