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Martinsburg VAMC honors WWII Purple Heart Veteran for service

PRESS RELEASE

December 14, 2021

Martinsburg , WV — The Martinsburg VA Medical Center serves heroes every day – it’s what we do.

It is almost routine to hear about the stories of bravery, service, and sacrifice. December 13 was no different when the medical center director was able to present Veteran Henry Hilburn with his World War II service pin.

Mr. Hilburn was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 at just 18 years old. He was then sent with the 77th Infantry Division to Okinawa, Japan to fight in one of the last major battles of WWII.

Known as the Statue of Liberty Division, the 77th spent the majority of its duty time in the Pacific. The Battle of Okinawa was ultimately the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater in WWII.

Although the injury he sustained there would later earn him a Purple Heart, Mr. Hilburn says he was lucky. He goes on to say of the men in his unit: “my God, you talk about real men.”

When asked by the director about his experiences with the Martinsburg VAMC, Mr. Hilburn said that it took him 75 years to use the VA for his health care, commenting that “once he came here, he found a home.” Mr. Hilburn says he’s so appreciative for his visits to the medical center and looks forward to seeing those who care so well for him.

The Martinsburg VAMC is proud to be the health care facility of choice for Mr. Hilburn and above honored for the opportunity to present his service pin. We are thankful for his service and for all our treasured WWII Veterans.

Media contacts

Chiray Weatherholtz, Public Affairs Specialist

304-263-0811 Ext. 4013/2038

chiray.weatherholtz@va.gov

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