by Amie Sites
LOGANSPORT — World War II Veteran Bob Powell received two purple hearts while he was in the infantry.
Powell, a retired Logansport Police Department officer, received his first purple heart in 1944 when he was 19, and his second in 1945. He said he was 18 when he was shot but turned 19 while he was in the hospital for three months.
Powell was in Europe on Omaha Beach five days after D-Day. He was shot through his arm and went out his chest.
“If I didn’t turn when I did, the bullet would have gone through my heart,” Powell said. “I know how lucky I am.”
The Cass County Roosters are hosting its fifth annual “Salute to the Armed Forces” Gala in honor of those who received the military order of the purple heart during their service, like Powell. The event will have food, drinks and a band, Tuxedo Junction, followed by a silent auction.
The doors to this event open at 5 p.m. Saturday but the program starts at 7 p.m. and will be at Angie’s Cakes and Catering.
George Franklin, a member of the Cass County Roosters, said money raised in the past has been donated for various projects, including scholarships honoring Shawn Hensel and Kenneth McAninch. Money raised has varied from $20,000 to $43,000, Franklin said.
This year, the Roosters plan to use proceeds to re-establish a Heroes Among Us program, where veterans are taken to Washington D.C. for a Veteran’s Day celebration. They also plan to use funds to create a park honoring veterans and create a limestone statue honoring each branch of the military.
Franklin said he expects 300 to 350 people to attend and he urged those who haven’t been before to attend.
“I can’t begin to put into words what it means to me and the roosters,” Franklin said. “It is perhaps one of the most moving things I have been involved with.”
Franklin said Sen. Randy Head will be the keynote speaker and he will be speaking about the history of the purple heart.
Powell, who just turned 87, said he spent a lot of time on the front lines and has the scars to prove it.
“I think it’s great they are honoring them,” Powell said of the event. He said he is asked about receiving a purple heart when people see it on his license plate.
Franklin said those who have received a purple heart will have free admission and the opportunity to have their name read and be recognized.
“These are American men and women,” Franklin said. “They deserve our respect, whether you agree with war or not, and they need our support.”
Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
Who: Cass County Roosters
What: Fifth annual “Salute to the Armed Forces”
Where: Angie’s Cakes and Catering, 1007 17th St.
When: Doors open at 5 p.m., program begins at 7 p.m. Saturday
Why: To honor service members from Cass County who received a purple heart during their service
Tickets are $15 and are available at Beacon Credit Union, Security Federal Savings Bank, The Mid America Radio Group Offices or a member of the Cass County Roosters.