Friday, January 31, 2014

Indiana National Guardsman gave away Purple Heart

Soldier surrenders 'Purple Heart' to WWII veteran at his funeral
Greene County Daily World
By Nick Schneider, Co-Editor
Friday, January 31, 2014

Rural Bloomfield resident Leonard Wayne McIntosh was a World War II hero and on Wednesday afternoon he was buried in possession of one of the nation's highest military decorations that can be awarded to any soldier.
First Sgt. Gregory Swanson
The Purple Heart didn't come the usual way from the United States government.

It came more than 50 years late, but the honor and recognition was shining brightly on the cold day at the rural Greene County church.

The long-due award came as a precious gift from a young family friend, who had earned his Purple Heart while a member of the Indiana Army National Guard's 387th Military Police Company unit out of New Albany in Afghanistan for injuries sustained in 2012.

Minutes before McIntosh's funeral service began at Tulip Church of God, First Sgt. Gregory Swanson, of rural Bloomfield, walked to the casket where he was greeted by his close friend, Kenny McIntosh, the youngest child of Wayne and Oaklene McIntosh.

The two embraced and Swanson handed him the Purple Heart he had earned. It was a gift to the McIntosh family in honor of their deceased father and husband.

It was his personal gift of love and respect to a war-injured veteran who deserved to be honored by his country, in his opinion.

It was a selfless gift, thinking only of his elder soldier comrade -- wanting to give him the well earned honor that had eluded him.
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