Jul 11, 2012
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced new legislation to help secure a Purple Heart denied to Murray Soskil, a Boca Raton resident, veteran of World War II, and the recipient of two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, the French Metal of Valor, the French Foligere, and the Presidential Unit Citation. A member of the 3rd Infantry Division, Mr. Soskil was liberating prisoners at the Buchloe Concentration Camp when an SS trooper attacked and stabbed him in the stomach.
Though Mr. Soskil bares a graphic scar and still possesses the dagger used during the confrontation, an eyewitness account remains the only record of the wound he sustained in battle. The notes taken by his battalion medic were among the nearly 18 million records destroyed during a massive fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973. The Murray Soskil Path to the Purple Heart Act would allow eyewitness statements to be taken into account when WWII veterans whose records were destroyed in this fire are under consideration for the Purple Heart.
Murray Soskil received two silver stars, a bronze star, six battle stars, the French Metal of Valor, the French Foligere, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
"Mr. Soskil is a remarkable patriot who was wounded in combat and refused medical assistance in order to immediately return to the battlefield. He deserves full recognition for his courage and sacrifice," said Congressman Deutch. "It is unfortunate that the destruction of the battalion's medical notes have left an American hero with no recourse," said Congressman Deutch. "My legislation will provide a new path forward for Mr. Soskil and other veterans of World War II who were wounded in battle and have the scars, but not the paperwork, to prove it."
"Though I was wounded, I did not want a letter sent to my mother informing her of my injury. Instead, I let our medic patch me up, and I returned to the fight," said Mr. Soskil. "It is only seems fair that all evidence available should be taken into account so that I can receive full and fair consideration for a Purple Heart. I am proud of my service, and grateful for Congressman Deutch's efforts to correct this injustice."