Syracuse, NY – U.S. Representative John Katko (NY-24) on January 22nd presented a long overdue Purple Heart Medal to the family of the late Mr. Ernest J. Carhart. Mr. Carhart, of Minoa, served in the U.S. Army during World War I and sustained severe wounds during his service.
The Purple Heart is presented to service members of the U.S. armed forces who have been wounded or killed as the result of hostile actions while actively serving our country. It is America’s oldest military award.
On February 25, 1918, Eric Carhart began his service with the U.S. Army. He was deployed to serve overseas in April of that same year, but was severely injured in the line of duty in France on August 15, 1918. Despite his brave and valiant service to our nation and his own sacrifice, Mr. Carhart’s combat injuries were never acknowledged during his lifetime and he did not receive the Purple Heart Medal he was owed.
Earlier this year, Rep. Katko was contacted by Mr. Carhart’s grandson, Eric Lorraine of Manlius, for assistance in obtaining the Purple Heart award due to his grandfather. To make the process more difficult, Mr. Carhart’s military records were destroyed in the fire in 1971 at the National Personnel Records Center. However, Rep. Katko was able to assist Mr. Carhart’s family in obtaining the medal and presented it today alongside representatives from the U.S. Army.
“It was my honor to assist the family of Mr. Ernest J. Carhart in obtaining a posthumous Purple Heart Medal honoring Mr. Carhart’s service, and to present it to them today,” said Rep. Katko. “While serving in France with the United States Army, Mr. Carhart was severely injured in the line of duty. However, these injuries were never acknowledged and he did not receive the Purple Heart Medal he was rightfully due. After learning of Mr. Carhart’s service and sacrifices to our nation, I was proud to advocate on behalf of his family to obtain this medal. I have the distinct privilege of working on behalf of Central New York veterans and their families to help obtain medals and secure the benefits they are owed. Since taking office, I have been incredibly grateful for the opportunity to assist our local veterans and will continue to work in bipartisan manner to serve those who have served us.”