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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Mobile, AL  July 13, 2013

Military Order of the Purple Heart to Honor North Carolina Resident Kimberly Paller with the American Patriotism Award at 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice in Mobile AL

The public is invited to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Department of Alabama, the South Alabama Veterans Council, and the Korean War Veterans Association, Gulf Coast Chapter 1, on Saturday, 27 July 2013 at 9:00AM to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and the rededication of the Korean War Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama.  As part of the ceremony, the MOPH will honor Kimberly Paller of Foxfire, NC for her personification of true American patriotism. 

In 2012. While looking through a box of books purchased at a yard sale, Paller and her husband Keith, himself a veteran, came across the unexpected: a case containing a Purple Heart medal, a purple ribbon, and a Gold Star.  The back of the medal was engraved with the name,” Henry A. Schenk.”  Normally, a Purple Heart would only have been engraved if the recipient had been killed in action, and the Gold Star would have been worn by the parent or spouse of the recipient.

Determined to find and return the medal to the rightful owner, Paller searched the internet for a relative, only to discover similar attempts to locate LT Schenk by noted Hollywood actor, author, and patriot James McEachin, himself a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient of the Korean War.  When she contacted McEachin, he described LT Schenk, a fellow member of Company K, 3d Battalion, 9th Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, as “the bravest man I have ever known.”  Schenk died in Korea on 15 Aug 1952 while leading a squad of 15 soldiers into an ambush from which only 2 would survive – one was McEachin, who was seriously wounded and carries a bullet lodged in his ribs still today. McEachin had tried for 60 years to find the family of LT Schenk so that he could tell them of his bravery and heroism that day. With the help of "Purple Hearts Reunited" founder, CPT Zachariah Fike, they have finally been able to locate members of the Schenk family to whom the medal will ultimately be returned. 

At the request of Kimberly Paller, during the rededication of the Korean War Memorial at Battleship Park in Mobile, AL, Paller will pass Lt Schenk's Purple Heart on to Patriot McEachin to allow him to fulfill his lifelong quest to tell the family about Lt Schenk’s extraordinary bravery and heroism and present them with his Purple Heart medal

The organization now known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.," (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, through veteran service, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  Through the VAVS Program, MOPH volunteers selflessly provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA medical facilities and State Veterans Homes.

For information contact:
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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