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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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VA Hosts Purple Heart Ceremony for WWII Veteran

September 12, 2007

WHEN: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 11 a.m.
WHERE:   Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
4th Floor Auditorium
2002 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77030

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will host a Purple Heart Medal Ceremony for WWII Army Veteran Ed Peniche on September 13, 2007 at 11 a.m. in the facility’s 4th Floor Auditorium.  Peniche did not receive this award after the war because of lost medical records.

U.S. Representative John Culberson and distinguished military representatives will present Peniche the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster medal. 

During World War II, Peniche was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles.  He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was assigned to the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment.  In the snow and unbearable cold of the Battle of the Bulge, the true mettle of this Mexican-born American paratrooper became apparent. As a crew member of a six pound anti-tank gun, Peniche became a hero.

During a powerful German tank attack at Langchamps, Belgium, he volunteered to carry ammunition forward to his gun. Exposed to the most intense enemy artillery, tank, and machine gun fire, Private First Class Peniche performed this difficult task. Although wounded, he continued his work.  When two members of his squad were seriously wounded and the gun was destroyed, Peniche again exposed himself voluntarily to enemy fire in order to report the situation and guide medical aid to the casualties. As a result of his efforts, Peniche’s anti-tank gun crew destroyed three German Panzers and helped the rest of his unit knock out another seven, breaking the back of the German attack.  Peniche served with the 101st Airborne Division from D-Day to VE-Day.