World War II Veteran Honored with Purple Heart - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Ash Flat, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

World War II Veteran Honored with Purple Heart

May 5, 2005--Posted at 3:00 p.m. CDT

ASH FLAT-- After 60 years of waiting, a World War II vet finally receives his purple heart.

"In walks a young man named Ruby Wayne Williams and Mr. Williams told my staff, he said 'you know I'm getting up in years and I want to be buried with the purple heart,'" Senator Mark Pryor says.

Senator Pryor presented a purple heart that was long overdue this morning.

"I get a little choked up when I start thinking about how great this country is and about the sacrifices people have made," Pryor says.

84 year old Ruby Williams says he never even knew he was eligible.

It has been 60 years since he had a conversation with a friend that led him to believe he wasn't worthy of the honor.

"He said you're not supposed to get a purple heart. Your supposed to get hit with a bullet," Williams says.

But recently he found out he did have what it took to earn the purple heart, and he said he didn't want to live his life without the military's greatest reward-- a badge of merit that symbolizes his loyalty to our country.

"If I didn't get one right I didn't want it at all. If I got wounded, I want one. I got wounded. I got one today. Look at all the people that were here," Williams says.

And the people looked on with admiration as one of America's bravest soldiers was finally recognized.

"I can't explain it. It's wonderful. It's something, well, I've never had anything like this before in my life," Williams says.

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