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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A former soldier from Brandenburg has received an honor that you can only win if another soldier nominates you for it.
Ray Cottrell, Sr. has won the highest level of the Order of Saint Maurice, which is awarded by the National Infantry Association. It's only the latest of a string of awards he's won over the years. About 30 or so of his friends and comrades turned out to witness the ceremony.
His friend, fellow soldier, Joshua Ruth, nominated him. Organizers say it's unusual that a younger soldier gets to nominate an older one for the award.
As Cottrell told WDRB News, "It means as much to me as the one I got from a four-star general, the Silver Star, for him to come up and do this. It means as much as that."
Ruth said, "I think what people see is they kinda see him and they see me and they're like, 'What are those two in there talking about,' because of the generation gap. But what has always held true is the infantry blue, that we can always come to some kind of common ground."
Ruth says the one lesson we can learn from Ray Sr. is that dedication and integrity can take you a long way.