Nearly 70 years after saving 283 trapped U.S. soldiers from German gunfire while wounded himself, Madera resident Martin Medellin was pleasantly surprised to finally receive the Purple Heart Medal, the highest recognition in the military.
Madera Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 Commander Henry Arredondo pinned the Purple Heart Medal on Medellin’s vest before nearly 100 people who showed up to a regular luncheon of the post.
“I feel proud and glad,” Medellin said. “I didn’t expect this. It’s been a long time I’ve been waiting and finally I got it. I’m not going to be able to wear it long, but my son will. I’m going to leave it to my family.”
The World War II army veteran was shot in the arm and throat during a battle between U.S. and German soldiers on Jan. 1, 1945, in Philipsburg, France. Machine-gun armed Germans lie in wait for U.S. Army soldiers. Pfc. Medellin and Sgt. George Peterson were ordered to climb a hill and destroy the machine gunners...