Pryor Presents Purple Heart to WWII Veteran Recipient Made Request During Mobile Office Visit in Ash Flat
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senator Mark Pryor today will present Ruby Wayne Williams, a World War II veteran with a long-anticipated Purple Heart he earned more than six decades ago.
Pryor said Ruby Wayne Williams, 84, was serving in Europe as a technician with the 132nd Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company on October 17, 1944 when he sustained head injuries from shrapnel. Williams never received a Purple Heart due to miscommunication and misplaced paperwork. Williams served in Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe, and received the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal and the Good Conduct Award for his service.
"Ruby put his life on the line to make the world safer for others, and he did so proudly and without expectations." Pryor said. "But when I heard his story, I wanted to make sure he received the rightful recognition and benefits he earned. Today's ceremony, while long overdue, recognizes his sacrifice and courage, and I'm honored to be a part of it."
Pryor noted Arkansas' timeless tradition of sending brave and selfless soldiers to defend our nation and preserve the freedoms we all enjoy today. He added that Ruby and his WWII compatriots left behind a great lineage of fidelity and fortitude for others to follow, including the members of the 39th Infantry Brigade.
The Senator first learned about Ruby's story last July when his Mobile Office staff traveled to Ash Flat, AR to help local residents solve any problems they might be having with the federal government. Pryor said Williams approached his staff about the eligibility requirements for a Purple Heart because he thought he might qualify. Since then, Pryor said he has worked to expedite the process for Williams.
"My Mobile Office has traveled throughout the state to help countless Arkansas families resolve conflicts with the government, whether it's a senior with a Social Security problem or a veteran with a disability claim," Pryor said. "Ensuring Ruby received his Purple Heart has been a highlight of this service, and I hope it will encourage other Arkansans to seek out assistance from my office so that I can better serve them."