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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Prescott, AZ  May 14, 2010


The Public is invited to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Senator John McCain in honoring a forgotten, 85 year old, Native American Navajo and WWII Veteran, Mr. Ward Farley, on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:00 am, at the Bob Stump VA Medical Center, 500 Hwy 89N, Prescott, Arizona 86313.  On that date, Senator McCain will present Mr. Farley with 7 medals, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, that he earned but never received as an infantry rifleman in various European campaigns during WWII, with Co. C, 413th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division, known as the “Timberwolf Division,”

Although he could speak only Navajo, he was still able to sign his name on the dotted line, and Ward Farley enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 18, 1942 at the tender age of 17.  Fighting with the famed Timberwolf Division, Mr. Farley participated in the division’s hard-fought assault on Cologne, Germany.  In one of the numerous night attacks which earned the division world-wide recognition, the 104th spanned the Roer River on February 23, 1945.  Racing ahead and gobbling up thousands of prisoners, the Timberwolves smartly outflanked the enemy with a succession of brilliant maneuvers that saved many lives and took the objective ahead of schedule.  While the Timberwolves raced on, for Ward Farley it was the end of the war.  Seriously wounded in the attack, he laid untreated and in pain for two days before he was found and ultimately evacuated to England for treatment.  After several months he was further evacuated to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas for rehabilitation and eventual medical retirement on December 4, 1945.  Upon leaving the Army, Mr. Farley returned to his life as a rancher on the Navajo reservation in Southeast Utah.  Although his retirement papers reflected the award of 7 separate decorations, he never physically received the medals.

Thanks to the diligent, year-long efforts of John Chavez, a member of the MOPH in New Mexico and himself a Purple Heart recipient, Mr. Farley’s 65-year wait for proper recognition will culminate in this special Memorial Day Ceremony.  The program will also feature a Musical Patriotic Salute, a Wreath Presentation, Salute to the Fallen, and Silver Taps.  You, your family and your friends and neighbors are cordially invited to attend this special program that honors Mr. Ward Farley's service to our country and the belated presentation of the medals which he had never received.

The organization now known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.," (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  Through the VAVS program, MOPH volunteers provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes.

For information contact:
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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