Rogers presents war medals to family of WWI hero 

By Mark White
via The News Journal newspaper (KY) web site

Private First Class Abraham Smith was part of the U.S. Army’s WWI American Expeditionary Force, known as the “Polar Bears.” On Oct. 27, 1918, PFC Smith carried wounded soldiers to the dressing station and delivered a message under artillery fire in north Russia.

Congressman Hal Rogers presents the Silver Star to the family of WWI PFC. Abraham Smith. From left, Rev. Raymond Parks, Alice Parks, Rogers, Jacob Losekamp, and Butch Parks.Congressman Hal Rogers presents the Silver Star to the family of WWI PFC. Abraham Smith. From left, Rev. Raymond Parks, Alice Parks, Rogers, Jacob Losekamp, and Butch Parks.Unfortunately, he was never awarded the military medals that he valiantly earned, Rogers noted.

“Southern and Eastern Kentucky is full of heroic war stories from the sons and daughters of this region who bravely served this nation on the front lines. Mr. Smith never expected to receive any medals and never boasted to his family about his heroic actions in Russia during World War I. It wasn’t until family members started researching military records that they realized their father and grandfather was one of the Army’s storied ‘Polar Bears,'” said Rogers. “I count it a great honor to help families secure war medals that were never awarded to our men and women in uniform. It’s the least that I can do for their incredible sacrifice for this great nation.”

Rogers presented the Silver Star, the WWI Victory Medal and the WWI Bronze Victory Pin to Smith’s daughter, Alice Parks; Rev. Raymond Parks, his son-in-law; Butch Parks, his grandson; and Jacob Losekamp his great-great-great-grandson.

“We had no idea what my father had done. He never talked about what happened during the war,” said Alice Parks. “We are so proud of him and we could never explain what these medals mean to us after all these years.”

“My grandfather was an incredible, hard-working man. It was difficult to get his military records, but when I called Congressman Rogers for help, he and his staff helped us track down the records we needed,” said Butch Parks. “We are so grateful to Congressman Rogers and his staff for making this a matter of importance and getting these medals for our family.”

Read the entire article on The News Journal web site.

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