104 years after his death, Bloomer soldier honored with Purple Heart
By Audrey Korte
via the Winona Daily News newspaper (MN) web site
BLOOMER, MN — On Saturday, a group of veterans, politicians, locals and descendants of Martin A. Treptow gathered at the American Legion in Bloomer to honor a serviceman who never made it home from World War I.
During the ceremony, attendees gave the pledge of allegiance, listened to the story of Treptow, and saw the man honored with a 21-gun salute and the taps bugle call.
The gathering was a long time coming. Treptow’s family has spent the last three years trying to secure their great-uncle a Purple Heart for his sacrifice.
The problem was that Treptow had no direct descendants. His great-nephews and great-nieces took up the charge to try and get Treptow the Purple Heart, but the fact that they weren’t his children or grandchildren proved to be a roadblock.
In a chance meeting between Treptow’s great-nephew who bears the same name — Martin Treptow — and State Rep. Jesse James, R-Altoona, the younger Treptow told James he’d been trying to get his relative the Purple Heart.
Together, they made it happen.
“This is the coolest thing that I’ve been able to do as a legislator,” James said. “They asked for help. That’s what we did.”
James said that he and his staff worked diligently to make sure the Purple Heart was awarded, and they were able to get it in just over a month.
“We helped with documentation and the application process,” he said.
James said this is meaningful for him as a veteran and a politician.
“We have to honor our veterans. When they give their life for what we have as American citizens,” James said. “To recognize someone 104 years later — you just can’t beat that.”
Read the entire article on the Winona Daily News web site.
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