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Purple Heart

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 1999
With reference to Barbara Rona's May 13 letter concerning the Purple Heart awarded to the three recent POWs: The Purple Heart is awarded to any military individual injured as a result of hostile actions. It was apparent from the initial photographs of the three soldiers that they had been injured. Consequently, they deserved being awarded the Purple Heart. Our nation's highest military honor is the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is, indeed, awarded for valor above and beyond. And, yes, the three former POWs do not qualify for, nor would they even seek, the Medal of Honor.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | Steve Chawkins
Jeremiah Denton, the downed Navy pilot who was paraded before television cameras by the Viet Cong and confirmed U.S. suspicions of prisoner maltreatment during the Vietnam War by blinking out the word "torture" in Morse code, has died. He was 89. Denton, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, died Friday in Virginia Beach, Va. He had been in failing health for several years, a grandson, Edward Denton, said in confirming his death to the Associated Press. From 1965 to 1973, Denton was held at the "Hanoi Hilton" and several other infamous Vietnamese prisons.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A Tulare County man who shot his two daughters, killing one, and then himself on Memorial Day served in the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. Anthony Alvarez, 63, shot himself after killing Jennifer Kimble, 37, and critically wounding Valerie Alvarez, 33, before 5 a.m. Monday, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Anthony Alvarez received his Purple Heart after serving in Vietnam as a Marine, KGPE-TV of Fresno reported. Kimble's 13- and 11-year-old sons and 8-year-old daughter were in the Orosi home at the time of the shooting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By John F. Morrison
William Guarnere didn't have to go to war. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, he was building tanks at the old Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, a job considered crucial to the war effort and good for an exemption from military service. But Guarnere didn't take it. He enlisted in the Army paratroops on Aug. 31, 1942, and went to battle. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article incorrectly included William Guarnere's late wife, the former Frances Peca, in a list of surviving family members.
NEWS
December 2, 2001 | From Associated Press
Four U.S. soldiers injured during a bloody Taliban uprising at a fortress in Afghanistan received Purple Hearts from the commanding general of Army Special Forces at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Saturday. Honoring the four in a ceremony in a small room at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey C. Lambert said they "have given their blood fighting in the war against terrorism." "We'll do everything we can to stamp it out," he said.
NEWS
May 1, 1986 | From Reuters
The U.S. ambassador to West Germany, Richard R. Burt, presented a Purple Heart medal Wednesday to a U.S. soldier badly injured in the April 5 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque. The ceremony took place in a West Berlin hospital where Staff Sgt. James Goins, 25, of Ellerbe, N.C., was being treated. Both his legs were amputated after the blast, which killed two people and injured more than 200. The Purple Heart is awarded to U.S.
NEWS
March 21, 1998 | Reuters
A death row inmate convicted of murdering a 78-year-old woman was awarded the U.S. military's Purple Heart on Friday for his service in the Vietnam War. Manuel Babbitt received the decoration at a small, private ceremony at San Quentin state prison, witnesses said. Babbitt earned the medal, awarded to members of the U.S. armed services who are wounded or killed in battle, for injuries he received in 1968 during the siege of Khe Sanh.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 28, 1985
Scarlett Marie Rogenkamp, the Oceanside woman killed Sunday by terrorists during the hijacking of an EgyptAir airliner, will be awarded a Purple Heart during funeral services in Oceanside on Saturday, her mother said. Hetty Peterson said dignitaries from Malta and Great Britain would attend the funeral, along with a representative from the White House. Rogenkamp, 38, was shot and dumped from the Boeing 737 airliner in Malta before Egyptian commandos stormed the plane and ended the hijacking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 1989 | JOHN L. MITCHELL, Times Staff Writer
Thomas J. McGowan has five Purple Hearts, five Bronze Stars and the French Croix de Guerre attesting to his bravery on the battlefield during World War II. But now he has finally achieved the kind of recognition that most Californians can appreciate: a personalized Purple Heart license plate, 0026PH. McGowan, 69, is the first Los Angeles-area resident to be given the plates issued under a new state law recognizing those who were wounded in combat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 1985 | PATRICK McDONNELL, Times Staff Writer
In a deliberately subdued ceremony, family members, friends and officials gathered here Saturday to bury Scarlett Marie Rogenkamp, the only American killed in the hijacking of an Egyptian airliner last weekend. During the half-hour graveside rites, an Air Force officer presented Rogenkamp's parents with a Purple Heart in recognition of her service as a civilian employee of the Air Force. The Purple Heart, said Col. John C. Novak, "recognizes her contribution to world peace . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant
Francisco Hernandez was a fiercely independent man, refusing help from family and neighbors -- even firing Meals on Wheels -- as he moved into old age at his Mt. Washington home. So it's not surprising that the 89-year-old World War II Purple Heart recipient was home alone with his bulldog, Nero, when a fire late Friday tore through the tiny cottage he's lived in for the last 40 years. Hernandez's body was found Saturday among the charred remains of the structure that sits on a winding, narrow street in the 500 block of West Avenue 44. His dog survived the fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2013 | Samantha Schaefer
Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt told his wife to remarry if he didn't come back from the war. She told him no. He had a hard enough time getting her to say yes when he proposed. He was it. In 1950, Gantt went missing during combat in the Korean War. He was presumed dead, but Clara Gantt, now 94, held out hope and never remarried. On Friday morning on the Los Angeles International Airport tarmac, the widow stood from her wheelchair and cried as her husband's flag-draped casket arrived home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt told his wife to remarry if he didn't come back from the war. She told him no. He had a hard enough time getting her to say yes. He was it.  For 63 years, the World War II and Korean War veteran was missing in action and presumed dead, but Clara Gantt, 94, held out hope and never remarried. On a cold, dark Friday morning on the Los Angeles International Airport tarmac, the widow stood from her wheelchair and cried as her husband's flag-draped casket arrived home.
NATIONAL
November 10, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
It came through an online message board from a village in eastern France. Attached was a photo of a standard-issue U.S. Army duffel bag, and the name on it in faded block letters was unmistakable: WILLIAM A. KADAR. "I can't believe this," Arleen Haas, 33, recalled thinking as she looked at the photo again and again. Kadar, her grandfather, had fought in eastern France during World War II, winning a Purple Heart and enduring a string of POW camps in the closing months of the war. Haas has spent much of her life collecting and preserving memories for her grandfather, now 93, who she says has given her so much.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2013 | By Thomas Curwen
Bedtime comes early to Vintage Cerritos, an assisted living facility on the edge of Los Angeles County. The Thursday hoedown has ended, the lobby is quiet. Felix Vera stood in the doorway of his apartment. He recently moved here, and the simple décor says more about what he's lost than what he owns. He handed me a water-stained envelope filled with news clippings from his days with the Los Angeles Police Department. I promised to take good care of it. "The stories aren't the exact truth," he said.
NATIONAL
October 16, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Cpl. Josh Hargis lay in a military bed, seemingly unconscious but clearly alive according to the machines that monitored his every pulse of life after he was seriously wounded by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. His commander approached the bed to pin the Purple Heart on him, and then the Army Ranger executed what military protocol demanded: He saluted. Hargis' simple but oh so intense action has become the "Salute Seen Around the World," drawing numerous views on Facebook after the photo was posted by the corporal's wife, Taylor.
NEWS
January 21, 1991 | From Staff and Wire Reports
The first Purple Heart in the Gulf War will be awarded to a Southern California Navy medic wounded by shrapnel while his unit traded fire with Iraqi troops just across the Kuwaiti border, officials said Sunday. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Clerence D. Conner, 21, of the Riverside County community of Banning, was recovering Sunday after having a jagged piece of metal removed from his right shoulder. "I'm damn proud of him," said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas V. Draude in Saudi Arabia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 | By Joel Rubin
A Los Angeles police officer was celebrated for her heroics during a gunfight and dozens of others were recognized for injuries they suffered in the line of duty at the LAPD's Medal of Valor and Purple Heart ceremony. Hundreds of officers, top LAPD brass and city officials gathered in a Hollywood banquet hall Thursday for the annual luncheon, which highlights some of the more dramatic rescues and dangerous encounters involving city police. Officer Nuria Vanegas was awarded the Medal of Valor for facing off with a group of armed burglary suspects one night in August 2011.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
James Gandolfini described himself as a “300-lb. Woody Allen ," when I met him at the end of November, just about six months before he passed away at 51 from a heart attack while on vacation in Italy. Appearing a lot more vulnerable than his heft would convey, Gandolfini didn't use the world "neurotic" when we huddled in the empty bar at the Roxy to talk about his most recent collaboration with "Sopranos" creator David Chase, the indie film “Not Fade Away.” But he did say he had “an active mind” and that it was often “exhausting.” That mind seemed to be filled with a slew of contradictions.
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