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‘He always looked after me:’ Estill Co. man receives posthumous medals for his brother killed in WWII

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - On Wednesday, Congressman Andy Barr presented a posthumous Bronze Star and Purple Heart for U.S. Army Private Gordon Lee Hardy to his brother, Retired U.S. Army Colonel Donald C. Hardy.

Private Hardy was killed in action in Germany less than three weeks before the Nazis surrendered and ended WWII.

Congressman Barr said after seven decades, Private Hardy is finally getting a long overdue recognition for his extraordinary service. This is all after his nephew contacted Barr’s office asking for help to get his uncle recognized for the honors.

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Private Hardy was killed in action in Germany less than three weeks before the Nazis...
Private Hardy was killed in action in Germany less than three weeks before the Nazis surrendered and ended WWII.(Hardy family)

“We want to present to you colonel, the medals that were earned by your brother in Germany... He earned these medals and we wanted to present them to you on behalf of a grateful country and the American people... This is the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart,” Congressman Andy Barr said.

As you can imagine, Donald was overjoyed by this surprise. He said honoring his big brother is something he has longed for.

“He was there just a short while and he was on the frontlines, and he got killed,” Donald said.

“I bet you miss him everyday,” WKYT’s Chad Hedrick said.

“I sure do. It was only the two of us. He always looked after me. He was a year and a half, two years older than me. They’ve really done a lot of hard work to get it and I appreciate it,” Donald responded.

Congressman Barr said the process to get recognition for a soldier who died in action is more complicated than it should be. It requires documentation filed with the Department of Defense.

“It’s very, very important that we honor these heroes, these patriots to our country. It’s important to the families themselves to have that recognition. But it’s also important to our country that we never forget the service and the sacrifice of these heroes,” Barr said.

Honoring heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and the families who miss them every day.

“I appreciate Mr. Barr getting them for me. We’ll put them with his other stuff,” Donald said.

Congressman Barr said if you feel as if a loved one you lost in a war has not gotten the recognition they earned, you should contact his office just like the Hardys did.

The Hardys were also presented with a World War II victory medal, Army Good Conduct medal, and Honorable Service pin.

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