Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Rep. Zeldin Presents Purple Heart Award to Family of WWII Veteran

August 14, 2017
Press Release

Patchogue, NY - On Friday, August 11, 2017, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) presented a Purple Heart to the family of PFC Roy B. DeWitt, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army. Much of his family now lives throughout the First Congressional District.

The Purple Heart Medal was established by General George Washington at Newburgh, New York, in 1782, during the Revolutionary War. It was re-established by the President of the United States per War Department General Orders in 1932. The Purple Heart is limited to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving our country, are wounded, killed, or have since died due to wounds received during battle. It is awarded in the name of the President of the United States.

On August 28, 1942, at age 25, PFC DeWitt enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment, and the 82nd Airborne Division, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, Company 3HQ. In September 1944, he received a gunshot wound to the foot during “Operation Market Garden.” Following this battle, he was captured by the Germans and held as a Prisoner of War at Stalag 12A in Belgium. He died in captivity there on November 2, 1944, from an apparent fracture to the back of his skull. He is buried in Belgium at the American War Cemetery in Ardennes.

For his selfless military service, PFC DeWitt received the Prisoner of War Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Device and bronze service star, and the Glider Badge. On Friday, August 11, 2017, Congressman Zeldin presented PFC DeWitt’s family with the Purple Heart on behalf of a grateful nation.

Congressman Zeldin said, “PFC DeWitt was a selfless and dedicated American, who served our country heroically. His military service and ultimate sacrifice during World War II demonstrate the highest principles of our great nation. I am proud to posthumously present him with a Purple Heart to honor his courageous service to the United States.”