WAUSAU – Marathon County’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient received an honorary diploma during Wausau East High School’s graduation on May 25.

Jerome Sudut attended Wausau High School, but dropped out in 1946 and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Second Lieutenant Sudut was killed in 1951 while serving in Korea and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1952.

Tom Tourtillott, history teacher at Wausau East, made it his mission to not only recognize Sudut, but to teach his students about him. That mission started prior to COVID-19, when a committee was created to recognize Sudut. On May 25, Wausau East High School awarded Sudut’s family with an honorary diploma for his service to the U.S.

“It is fitting and proper to award Mr. Sudut’s family with an honorary diploma from Wausau East/Wausau High,” Tourtillott said in a news release. “Lieutenant Sudut’s fighting spirit, outstanding leadership and gallant self-sacrifice were keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army and need to be remembered and celebrated. Our students and community of Wausau are best served by learning the history of Lieutenant Sudut’s bravery and valor during the Korean conflict.”

Additionally, a permanent memorial will be built at Wausau East with a hope to have it completed by Veterans Day.