KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 80 years later, a group of veterans is honoring a local World War II soldier for his sacrifice and service to the United States.

Kansas City native Private first class Willy F. James Junior served in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was killed during combat in Germany after trying to save his platoon leader.

Former President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor, the Military’s highest decoration, to James’ wife but was never given a proper homecoming.

“It’s up to us as veterans to honor those ones that allowed us to come home to make that ultimate sacrifice,” U.S. Marines First sergeant Robert Gray said.

Now, Gray and other veterans in the community are giving James the honor ceremony he never received.

They’ll be laying a wreath at the Black Veterans Memorial on Paseo and then processing down to the black archives on April 7 at 11 a.m.

“He is absolutely deserved of being part of our history and this is a way to show respect and you can see the neighborhood that he left from,” Gray said.

They will also be unveiling an updated portrait of the military hero that’s never been seen before.