October 13, 2010 - James Gary

Family members of James Gary are looking over the memorabilia he collected over the years, after having served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.  Although he never talked much about the war to his children, his wife Joe Anna, remembers one horrifying story.

"He fell into the ice with a full backpack on," recalled Joe Anna.  "Whenever he hollered, the men came and made a row with their guns.  He caught onto it and they pulled him out. He was frost bitten."

Gary was shot later in the war, qualifying him for a Purple Heart.

"I think he kind of pushed you away from that because of all the things he had seen.  So there was more of a protection going on there until we grew up."

James Gary's war records were lost by the government in a fire in 1972. The family is now trying to get the Purple Heart that he deserved.

"It's a sense of pride for us that we know what he went through and what the freedom means that he gave for his country.  It has instilled in all of us a sense of pride for him and for us to know that he fought for something that he truly believed in."

That's why we're making James Gary this week's KPLC Billy Navarre Hometown Patriot.