World War II Veteran Finally Receives Medal - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/24/03

World War II Veteran Finally Receives Medal

Emmitt Parrish Emmitt Parrish

Fifty-nine years ago, Emmitt Parrish was drafted into the Army. Serving in the European theatre, in central Italy, it wasn't long before Parrish, like thousands of other Americans, was injured.

"Artillery started hitting the top of the mountain, causing a landslide on our side," he recalled. "We all had to take cover, I jumped in a shell crater and something hit my hand and split it."

The hand he used to shoot with had been hit. Even today after years of physical therapy, he still can't use his index finger. And he's been losing his hearing, something he says came not long after the war. Though he risked his life for America and was injured, Parrish never received his purple heart.

"I said if they don't want me to have it, I won't have it, if the Lord wants me to have it, i'll get it," he said.

The reason he never got it was that his paperwork had been lost in the shuffle. But thanks to his son inquiring about it to Congressman Jack Kingston, today he finally got his medal.

"It's absolutely nothing," said Kingston. "Everything they did for our freedom, for us to punch a little paperwork through for them, is nothing."

Congressman Kingston says they do this about two or three times a year for veterans and their families. He says often it's up to the families to have the patience and the determination to inquire and get the job done.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com

 

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