206th Engineer Battalion presents Purple Heart to Korean War veteran

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Story by Sgt. Sandra Fariss, 206th Engineer Battalion Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

James Christian receives the Purple Heart Medal from Kentucky National Guard Lt. Col. Alexander C. Stewart II, 206th Engineer Battalion Commander. Christian was wounded in action during the Korean War while tending to the injuries of a fellow Soldier. (Photo by Sgt. Sandra Fariss, 206th Engineer Battalion Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative)

NOTE:  Each week kentuckyguard.com publishes stories by Kentucky National Guard unit public affairs historian representatives, also known as UPAHRs.  This is an additional duty taken on by a Soldier or Airmen with the intent of telling their unit’s story.  This is one such story ….

OWENSBORO, Ky. — On August 14th, 2011 in a ceremony on the lawn of the Owensboro Armory, the 206th Engineer Battalion had the honor of presenting the Purple Heart to Mr. James Christian.

A life-long resident of Owensboro, Christian served on the front lines of the Korean War with the United States Army.  He was only 21-years old when 0n February 24, 1954 he was struck by shrapnel from a nearby mortar round that exploded.  Christian was caring for another Soldier who was more seriously wounded and wasn’t concerned about his wounds.

“I was doing what needed to be done,” he said.

After finishing his tour, Christian thought nothing of his missing award.  It was through the joint efforts of the 206th Engineers and the local Disabled American Veterans Association that at the age of 78, nearly 58 years after the incident, that he finally received recognition for his injuries under fire.

“It was an honor to have been a part of the ceremony with Mr. Christian and his family,” said Kentucky National Guard Lt. Col. Alexander C. Stewart II, 206th Engineer Battalion Commander.  “We believe that the Army, through the National Guard, will always try to do the right thing no matter how long it takes.”

“This was the right thing,” he added.

James Christian and his wife, Barbara, with Kentucky National Guard Lt. Col. Alexander C. Stewart II, 206th Engineer Battalion Commander.  Christian received the Purple Heart Medal for injuries he received nearly 58 years ago during the Korean War.  (Photo by Sgt. Sandra Fariss, 206th Engineer Battalion Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative)

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