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Kentuckians at War
Veteran Awarded Purple Heart After 67 Years
An inch-long piece of shrapnel from a Japanese bomb or artillery shell fired 67 years ago led to a ceremony Monday for Master Sgt. Joe Schmidt, where he was finally awarded the Purple Heart -- and 13 other medals. Schmidt, who turns 90 on Jan. 1, was a spotter for his artillery unit on the Philippine Island of Leyte in October 1944 when he was wounded. “I was running back to my plane when it just came down and hit,” Schmidt recalled.