U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) presented a Purple Heart to the family of a World War I veteran at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul on Thursday.
The late Private Charles Shepherd was injured in combat while serving in France during WWI. Private Shepherd was shot in the arm by a German soldier as he was helping an injured squadron mate seek medical assistance. Shepherd died in 1971 at age 77.
Private Shepherd did not receive a Purple Heart for his service because they were not awarded at the time of WWI. However, in 1932 when the medal was revived, all veterans who were killed or wounded after April 1917 became retroactively eligible to receive the medal for their service.
Private Shepherd’s son, Master Sergeant Larry Shepherd, an Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War, reached out to Sen. Klobuchar’s office seeking assistance in securing a posthumous Purple Heart for his father.
On Thursday, Sen. Klobuchar presented the Purple Heart to Private Charles Shepherd’s family. She was joined by Private Shepherd’s son Larry, his daughter-in-law Judy; his granddaughter Lori Lambert; and Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Army Major Shawn Manke.
“Private Charles Shepard was one of the four million Americans who put their lives on the line to make the world safe for democracy in World War I. He is entitled to the Purple Heart because he was wounded in the war, but he never received one during his lifetime,” said Klobuchar. “When Larry reached out to our office to request assistance in securing a Purple Heart for his dad, it was our honor to help. We tell the world who we are as a state, and as a country by remembering to recognize our heroes. Part of how we do that is by making sure that we don’t forget courageous soldiers like Private Charles Shepherd, because his story and his medal will be held in their family forever.”