WWI veteran posthumously honored for his sacrifices

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A former Fountain local and World War I soldier was celebrated by his friends and family Saturday and awarded seven honors for his valiant efforts in the war.

Sergeant Keith Lacey was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, but that's only two of the seven honors after his courageous acts in World War I.

He fought 222 active days on the front lines -- a record no one has touched outside the First Division.

"It's really an incredible feeling, the legacy of service and sacrifice," said Lt. Col. Jon Meredith with the 16th Infantry 1st Division.

"He stayed in the fight, and he stayed in the fight to the end of the war," said Sgt. Lacey's son, Col. Nick Lacey.

He was honorably discharged in 1919 after his exposure to warfare gas.

"Medical science was behind the experience of the soldier on the battle field," Col. Lacey said.

He then lived in Fountain until 1977, when he died from tuberculosis.

But throughout his battle, his common mentality was "I'm alive, and nothing else matters," Col. Lacey said.

Everyone there agreed the seven honors he was awarded were extremely impressive.

"That's why I say, he was one of the U.S. Army's most experienced World War I combat soldiers," Col. Lacey said.

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