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Purple Heart

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NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Robert James Miller remembers the terrible day he was riding on top of a military vehicle when a firefight erupted around him. A piece of shrapnel from an explosion dug deep into his left shoulder. "It hit me like a white-hot hammer," he recalled. At a field hospital, the doctor told him: "You got yourself a Purple Heart here. " That was Nov. 17, 1969. He did get a Purple Heart . . . 44 years later. Miller, who lives in a comfortable two-story house on a leafy street in Norwood, was awarded the medal this week in a ceremony at the Springfield office of U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (R., Pa.)
NEWS
November 11, 1989 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
They were the Ernest Hemingways of World War II - American ambulance drivers for a foreign army. Like Hemingway in World War I, they were wounded in Italy. Unlike Hemingway, their wounds did not merit the hospital stay that allowed Hemingway to meet a Philadelphia nurse and that inspired him later to write A Farewell to Arms. But, ambulance drivers they were. And, wounded they were. Now, their wounds have been recognized by their own government. After more than 40 years.
NEWS
March 8, 1992 | By Bill Ordine, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Michael B. Egnatz, 70, who survived a high-seas ordeal as a Marine in World War II and went on to become an insurance appraiser, died Thursday of a cerebral hemorrhage at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Seriously wounded in 1943 on Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands, Mr. Egnatz was being evacuated when Japanese planes strafed and sank the boat he was on. After several hours adrift in the Pacific, Mr. Egnatz was rescued by the USS Sauflay. He was awarded the Purple Heart. According to Mr. Egnatz's wife, Margaret, the Sauflay was searching for survivors from several sunken vessels - including John F. Kennedy's famed boat, PT-109.
NEWS
January 21, 1991 | Associated Press Inquirer staff writer Vanessa Williams contributed to this article
The first Purple Heart of the Persian Gulf war will be awarded to a Navy medic who was wounded Friday during an exchange of fire with Iraqi soldiers. Petty Officer Third Class Clerence D. Conner, 21, of Banning, Calif., was listed in good condition yesterday at a medical facility in the Persian Gulf after a piece of metal was removed from his right shoulder. "I'm damn proud of him," said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas V. Draude. Conner was serving with the First Reconnaissance Battalion of the First Marine Division from Camp Pendleton when he was injured Friday, said Navy Cmdr.
NEWS
December 31, 1995 | By Stacey Burling, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Thomas F. McDonough Sr., 63, who received a Purple Heart during the Korean War, died Thursday at his home in South Philadelphia. He served in the Army from 1948 to 1953, in H Company of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment, and was wounded twice. During the war, Mr. McDonough's unit was overrun in battle and he spent three years in Camp Pyok-Dong prison camp. Guards tormented him with beatings, perhaps because of his small stature, said Jack Kilgore, a friend who knew Mr. McDonough through a veterans organization.
NEWS
November 10, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Irven Richard Ostrander, 91, of Rose Tree, a mechanical engineer and decorated World War II veteran, died of complications from an infection Tuesday, Nov. 6, at home. Mr. Ostrander was born in Yonkers, N.Y., the fifth of six children. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army. He was eligible for a deferment because he was helping support his widowed mother and younger brother but wanted to fight, said his daughter Mary Ellen Davin. By February 1945, he was a staff sergeant fighting with the 102d Infantry Division in Germany.
NEWS
March 18, 2002 | By Jake Wagman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Sgt. David Smith's wife knows he is OK, but that's about all she knows about his condition. The former resident of Mantua Township in Gloucester County was injured in a harrowing, all-night firefight on the first day of Operation Anaconda, the U.S. military's attempt to oust the remaining al-Qaeda holdouts in Afghanistan. Smith, 25, was one of the first six soldiers to receive the Purple Heart since the South Asian war on terror began in October. Details of the wounds that earned him the medal - leg gashes caused by mortar fire - have been kept from Ellie Smith, the woman who married him a week and a half before he was shipped out. She first heard about his Purple Heart when a friend saw the ceremony March 8 on CNN. Like other civilians, she gets most of her information from television and other news outlets, which have been kept farther from the front lines in this war than in past conflicts.
NEWS
September 28, 2001 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
All members of the U.S. armed services killed or wounded in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be awarded the Purple Heart, and the Defense Department has created the Defense of Freedom Medal to be awarded to all department civilians killed or wounded. In making the announcement yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the tributes were appropriate, given the unprecedented nature of the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. "They were acts of war - military strikes against the United States of America," he said.
NEWS
May 28, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seventy years after being sprayed with shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge, former Army Pfc. Herman Chidekel was awarded the Purple Heart on Monday for his service during World War II. Chidekel, 88, of Glen Mills, was discharged from the Army in 1945, went to college, started a family, and worked in book publishing. He had largely forgotten about his injuries until recently, when he was getting an MRI and the metal remnants of his war wounds interfered with the test. "They did an X-ray and there it was, shrapnel all up and down one of his legs," said Maj. Gen. Louis H. Guernsey Jr., who presented the medal at a ceremony after the Radnor Memorial Day Parade.
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TRAVEL
May 30, 2016 | By Deborah Lara, For The Inquirer
A few years ago, I wrote a "Personal Journey" piece on my pilgrimage to Universal Studios Florida with my daughter before her wedding (we're both avid Harry Potter fans). I concluded it by saying I was planning a Disney World vacation for my future grandchildren. Last month, I accomplished that goal with my partner, my pregnant daughter (a granddaughter on the way!), my son-in-law, and my grandson, Damon. My objective was to experience the parks through 2-year-old Damon's eyes, revisit my childhood, and share his joy. During our vacation, I had numerous flashbacks of my first visit to Disney World with my parents in late 1971.
NEWS
February 29, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
Nancy Sasson was cleaning out her late parents' house in Miami, digging through clothes in a closet, when she found a military medal on the floor. It was a Purple Heart, typically awarded to military personnel wounded or killed in combat. Wow , she thought, I had no idea my father had received a Purple Heart . Sasson turned the medal over in her hand, and realized she was wrong. On the back was engraved Irvin S. Grindrod . She didn't recognize the name. Maybe he had been a friend of her father during World War II. She began searching the Internet, and soon realized that Grindrod wasn't an old Army buddy, though he had been in the service.
NEWS
January 9, 2016
By Henry I. Miller As a member of South Philadelphia High School's "Cultural Hall of Fame," I was asked recently to review and rank a new crop of candidates for the honor. Perhaps oddly for a former Food and Drug Administration official who used to evaluate complex pharmaceuticals for approval to enter the marketplace, I found it devilishly difficult. All the candidates were highly accomplished in their respective fields, but how does one compare a musician/composer, an interior designer, a federal environmental regulator, and a specialist in psychodrama, among others?
NEWS
December 17, 2015
TENNESSEE In attack, six get Purple Hearts After determining a shooting at a Chattanooga reserve center this summer was inspired by foreign terrorists, the Navy will award the Purple Heart to the four Marines and one sailor who were killed and the one Marine who was injured there. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the decision Wednesday in a news release that said the terrorist determination came after an extensive investigation by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.
NEWS
October 28, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wallace S. Littlewood, 92, of Gladwyne, a Marine veteran of World War II and the president of a textile dye house in Manayunk for 40 years, died Sunday, Oct. 18, of a stroke at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mr. Littlewood was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Bala Cynwyd. He attended the Episcopal Academy and the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. In 1942, he enlisted in the Marines. He served in the Pacific aboard the Bunker Hill from 1942 through 1945. He received the Purple Heart.
NEWS
October 1, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stanley Anthony Wojtusik Sr., 90, a longtime Torresdale resident and a World War II veteran, died Friday, Sept. 25, of natural causes at his home. Born in South Philadelphia, Mr. Wojtusik was a graduate of John Bartram High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. During the battle, his regiment was captured by the German army. Mr. Wojtusik received a Purple Heart in recognition of a battle injury, and two Bronze Stars.
NEWS
May 26, 2015 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Army Master Sgt. Francis G. Corcoran was a "soldier's soldier," family members said. Corcoran enlisted at age 18, became a Green Beret, and volunteered to serve in Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for valor after saving comrades' lives by disarming a bomb at great risk to himself. But his name never appeared on the gleaming black granite wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington - though he died in 1967 at age 39 from an illness contracted in Vietnam.
NEWS
January 3, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
An Army narrative describes how Jeffrey F. Zauber, a Cherry Hill native, earned a Distinguished Service Cross for "exceptionally valorous actions" in South Vietnam on Feb. 2, 1969. "While serving as company medic during a mission to relieve a sister unit engaged with an enemy force," Mr. Zauber showed "extraordinary heroism," the June 25, 1969, account reads. "Approaching the combat area, Specialist Zauber's company came under intense enemy fire and sustained several casualties.
NEWS
November 6, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
MANY PEOPLE will remember Bucks County Judge Leonard B. Sokolove for his many compassionate rulings, but his son Michael has more tender memories. Like that Little League game when Mike was a kid. "I am 7 years old, maybe 8, playing in what could have been my first Little League game," Michael wrote in a remembrance. "My father is behind me. He's the umpire. I'm hit by a pitch and it hurts. "He does not say, 'Shake it off, son.' He picks me up off the ground, cradles me in his arms, and sprints me down to first base.
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