Bill Would Award Medal of Honor To WWI Hero

ALBANY (AP) -

Sens. Charles Schumer and Paul Rand introduced legislation Thursday to allow a black World War I soldier from Albany to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor.

The New York Democrat and Kentucky Republican’s bill would exempt Sgt. Henry Johnson from the rules specifying that a Medal of Honor must be awarded within five years of the heroic act being recognized. A companion bill will be introduced in the House by Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from the Albany area.

Schumer announced last month that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recommended Johnson receive the nation’s highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

If Congress approves the legislation, it goes to President Barack Obama for final approval.