GRANBY, Mass. (WWLP) – A Purple Heart recipient from Granby will represent Massachusetts veterans at the National Purple Heart Patriot Project.
Granby resident and U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James Bouchard will attend the multi-day tribute to those who were wounded in combat from September 18th through September 22nd. The event includes a visit to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York, Washington’s Headquarters, and a special tour of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
“James and his fellow Patriot Project honorees represent the best of the best our country has to offer,” said Richie Lay, a Purple Heart recipient and Chairman of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission. “America’s Purple Heart veterans have given so much to defend freedom and that sacrifice must always be remembered. These brave men and women are true American heroes. We are privileged to be able to provide this unique salute to service for our Purple Heart heroes.”
“Our Purple Heart recipients have made enormous sacrifices for America, and this is our opportunity to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of a grateful nation. For some, this will be like the homecoming they never had. We received hundreds of nominations from across the country and we look forward to honoring James for his courage and service, both during combat operations and in the years since returning home,” said Col. Russ Vernon (NYARNG Ret.), the Executive Director for the National Purple Heart Honor Mission.
Honorees of this year’s program include Purple Heart recipients from World War II, Vietnam War, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and other conflicts.
“We did the best we could, given the circumstances,” said James Bouchard.
Bouchard enlisted in the Navy in February 1967 and served as a member of the 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division, which included a tour in Vietnam. In August 1969, while assisting a wounded Marine, Bouchard leaped over the Marine and was hit by gunfire. Bouchard continued treating the wounded Marine while using his radio to call for help.
Bouchard has also been awarded the Bronze Star with “V,” the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Media with Device, and more.
He continues to serve his fellow veterans as Commander for the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) chapters, as well as volunteer at his local V.A. hospital.
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