Maloney Presents Purple Heart, Bronze Star & Soldier’s Medal to Family of Late WWII Veteran Claude Walker 70 Years After He Was Wounded in WWII
Has Also Passed Nine Bills to Help Veterans, Returned over $3 Million in Earned Benefits for over 800 Hudson Valley Veterans and their Families
Beacon, NY – After waiting seventy years, the family of WWII Private Claude Walker was presented with the long-awaited Purple Heart Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and Soldier’s Medal by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) to recognize Walker’s service and sacrifice. In addition, Rep. Maloney secured the Good Conduct Medal, American-Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/1 Silver Service Star, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, and Marksman Badge w/Rifle Bar for the family of Claude Walker.
“My father was nearly killed while serving our country on the U.S.S. Manchester and he taught me what it means to serve our country. None of our veterans or their families should have to wait seven decades to receive the medals they’ve earned – that’s why I am so proud to finally present Private Walker’s family with the medals he earned more than seventy years after being injured in World War II. I will always fight to ensure our veterans get the recognition they deserve for their brave sacrifice,” said Rep. Maloney.
“Words will never be enough to thank our veterans, or their families, for their incredible sacrifices, but today we had an opportunity to recognize and honor a member of our nation’s Greatest Generation and ensure that his legacy lives on and inspires others throughout our community,” said State Senator Sue Serino. “These awards were a long time coming, and I thank Congressman Maloney for making them a reality for Claude Walker, and his children Shelley and Art.”
“Without Representative Maloney my family never would have had this opportunity – and my children would never have had the chance to meet my father in a way that’s this special,” said Art Walker, son of Claude Walker. “I can’t thank Mr. Maloney enough for what he has done for our family.”
Private Claude Walker joined the United States Army in 1941, and started basic training at Camp Upton on Long Island. Claude’s active service started on November 17, 1942 when he landed on a beach in North Africa with the 3rd Infantry Division. Following his involvement in the successful liberation of North Africa and Sicily, Claude made two more amphibious landings in Italy. In March 1945, Claude was shot in action during heavy fighting on the German border and was wounded, and received the Purple Heart as a result. Private Walker received the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in 1945 for supporting the “Blood and Fire” Division’s relentless drive into Germany. In addition to the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Rep. Maloney presented Walker with the Soldiers Medal for saving the life of another soldier who nearly drowned in Italy in 1944.
Rep. Maloney has a track record of getting things done for Hudson Valley veterans despite Washington gridlock. Rep. Maloney has secured over 150 service medals and cut through red tape to return over $3 million in earned benefits to over 800 Hudson Valley veterans and their families. In December 2015, Rep. Maloney’s Wounded Warrior Employment Improvement Act was signed into law to reform the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program, the key employment program to help assist, train and find jobs for veterans who have compensable service-connected disabilities. In July, two of Rep. Maloney’s legislative proposals were included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 - ensuring disabled veterans receive specialized medical treatment and student loan forgiveness. The Disabled Veterans Student Loan Protection Act will ensure greater cooperation between the Department of Education and the VA by establishing a system for transferring relevant information for veterans with 100-percent service-connected disabilities who have outstanding loans; the Appropriate Care for Disabled Veterans Act extends a mandate for the VA to report on its capacity for rehabilitating disabled veterans. In addition, Rep. Maloney’s Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act was signed into law this summer, which will improve the hiring and staffing of air traffic controllers and prioritize the hiring of veterans.