After 67 years, Maxwell officially recognized with Purple Heart ceremony
CACHE — It is said that good things come to those who wait.
The wait was long, but the payoff finally came for a Cache native and Korean War veteran on Saturday.
More than 67 years after earning a Purple Heart, Bill Maxwell was finally presented with the paperwork from the Order of the Purple Heart during a ceremony at New Life Assembly of God in Cache on Saturday.
In October 1951, Maxwell — just three months after his joining the U.S. Army — was shot in the stomach in battle during the Korean War. While on the ground, he was shot four more times and was shot once more in the back while being carried on a stretcher.
He woke up in a hospital bed with a Purple Heart pinned to him. However, due to the hard-to-track nature of records during the war and high number of casualties, no documentation was ever found or given to Maxwell. Compounding that was a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973 which destroyed any record that Maxwell had served in the Army at all.
A phone call from Kansas last year changed things.
New Life pastor David McCracken told church member Dawn Wallace about a call he had received from a woman who didn’t go to New Life and didn’t even live in Oklahoma. However, she asked McCracken if someone could get in touch with a man named Bill Maxwell for her.