World War II veteran awarded Purple Heart

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Walter Ram, a World War II veteran, was presented the Purple Heart Medal by U.S. Senator Martha McSally during a World War II Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony held at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 20, 2019. During the ceremony, Ram shared his experiences in the military and as a prisoner of war. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate)

Walter Ram, a World War II veteran, was presented the Purple Heart Medal by U.S. Senator Martha McSally during a World War II Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony held at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 20, 2019.

The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military.

“People have asked me why it took so long to get this presentation – 76 years later,” Ram said. “At the time that it happened no one thought about this sort of thing, we were thinking about continuing out battles against Germany.”

Walter Ram, a World War II veteran, was presented the Purple Heart Medal by U.S. Senator Martha McSally during a World War II Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony held at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 20, 2019. The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate)

Ram enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 16 and served as a B-17E Radio Operator and Gunner for nearly five years. During his third bombing mission, Ram and the rest of his aircrew were shot down in Kiel, Germany, where he began his year and a half as a prisoner of war. It was this mission that is being recognized in today’s Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony.

During the ceremony, Ram shared his experiences in the military. His perseverance and dedication were honored by the presentation of the Purple Heart Medal by McSally.

“It’s an honor to know you and to be with your generation and around heroes like you – it inspires me and it inspires everyone else in the room,” McSally said.