WWII veteran from LI awarded Purple Heart
A World War II veteran from Long Island was presented with a long overdue honor on Sunday.
Former Navy Petty Officer Frederick Stone, of Stony Brook, received the Purple Heart.
Rep. Lee Zeldin presented the medal to the 90-year-old veteran in front of his family and dozens of naval officers at the Navy Operational Support Center in Farmingdale.
The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who were wounded, killed or have since died due to wounds received during battle.
Stone was wounded during a battle aboard the USS Butler gunship in Okinawa in 1945, but it didn't stop him from helping a more seriously wounded soldier to safety. He then returned to his gun.
Stone still has shrapnel embedded in his back from that day.
After hearing about his heroic achievements, Rep. Lee Zeldin says he was motivated to pursue the Purple Heart for Stone, and the gesture has meant a lot to him and his family.
"I want to thank everybody, I'm really impressed," Stone said at Sunday's ceremony ."I'm overwhelmed, I'm almost speechless."
All of the medals Stone had received were damaged or lost, including his Bronze Star medal, but he recently received a new star last August.