Veteran's Family Receives Posthumous Purple Heart - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Veteran's Family Receives Posthumous Purple Heart

It was 55 years ago when Private First Class Floyd Smith was wounded in the Korean war. He was overlooked year after year and never received his Purple Heart. But after decades of searching for answers, Smith finally got the recognition he earned.

"Our country has always counted on the bravest among us to answer the call of duty," said General Paul Capasso as he addressed the audience.

Smith will never be able to physically receive his Purple Heart. He passed away September 3, 2004 at the age of 75.

"He use to tell me all the stories when I was a kid. He use to show me his first Calvary book," said Smith's daughter Tammi Mcarthur.

She remembers how proud her father was of his efforts at war.

So Mcarthur teamed up with Bob Carson, of Congressman Gene Taylor's office, to make sure her father got the recognition he deserves.

"Its been a little struggle and it keeps falling through the cracks, but we're finally here and getting it for him as he wished," said Mcarthur.

According to Smith's family, Carson went to great lengths to find the documents needed to prove Smith earned his Purple Heart.

"This is something that can't go unrewarded and unnoticed. We owe it to these people to do whatever we can to track them down and don't leave any stone unturned to get their medals," said Carson.

The Smith's family home in Pearlington was destroyed by the storm. Mcarthur says it took her six months to find her father's flag case among the ruins in their neighborhood.

"We finally found it and we are going to redo his flag case again. And now we can do it with his purple heart," said Mcarthur. 

Smith's widow, Phillis Smith, accepted the medal on her husband's behalf.

According to Carson, there was a fire at the National Personnel Records Center, many of the Military's records were lost. Mcarthur says she will never know just how many medals her father actually earned.

By Keitha Nelson

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