Today is Veterans Day. There is some confusion between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Let’s settle this now.

Veterans Day honors all who have served in the military. Memorial Day honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during military service.

I take this opportunity today to salute my Father, Thomas J. Hurley, who honorably and heroically served our country during World War II.

My Father was awarded The Bronze Star Medal on 12 July 1945 for his heroic military achievement during the Cebu, Philippine Islands operation.

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My Father also earned two Purple Hearts during his military service and pulled shrapnel from his body for the rest of his life following his military service because of multiple gunshot wounds he received.

THOMAS J. HURLEY

BRONZE STAR MEDAL READS:

By direction of the president, under the provisions of executive order number 9419, 4 February 1944  (Isec II 3 WD 44), a bronze star medal is awarded by the commanding general, Americal division, to the following named officer and enlisted men;

Corporal Thomas J. Hurley 33729198, corps of engineers, United States Army. For heroic achievement in military operations against the enemy at Cebu, Philippines Islands, on 29 March 1945. Corporal Hurley was a member of a mine detection team supporting an infantry Regiment during the early stages of the Cebu operation. When tanks were called up To destroy enemy pillboxes Corporal Hurley walked ahead of them, detecting the mines in their path and deactivating or exploding them with TNT charges. While engaged in this hazardous tank the mine detection team encountered heavy enemy rifles and machine gunfire. In the ensuing action, one member of the team was killed and another was wounded. Corporal Hurley and two other men immediately went to the aid of the wounded man and carried him to safety. By helping in the removal of the mines, Corporal Hurley contributed material to the success of the operation.

Home address: Mrs. Catherine M. Hurley (mother), 2214 East Gordon St., Philadelphia, PA.

By command of brigadier general Slocum.

I have the original letter displayed in my home office and this copy is displayed on the WPG Talk Radio studio wall. I look at it every day and I’m blown away by my Father’s bravery at the age of 29.

Here’s what it looks like:

Thomas J. Hurley - Bronze Star Medal

I’m so proud to be my Father’s son, who was an integral part of The Greatest Generation.

THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL

The Bronze Star Medal (BSM) is a United States Armed Forces decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Thomas J. Hurley - The Bronze Star Medal - (son)  Harry Hurley photo

THE PURPLE HEART

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of The President to those killed or wounded, while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the United States Military.

Thomas J. Hurley - The Purple Heart - (son)  Harry Hurley photo

My Father heroically served in the war that literally saved the world he returned home and then proceeded to never talk about it, again.

The World War II breed was cut from a “different” cloth.

To all of our Veterans, living and dead today is set aside specifically for you.

Today, we remember … to remember, and we thank you for your service.

NOTE: My Father was a great public speaker and I’ve always loved this photo of him with a microphone in his hand, delivering an address in front of former Atlantic City Mayor Richard Jackson and Atlantic City Commissioner Karlos LaSane, Sr. on opening day at The Chelsea Little League … where my Father was the league President.

Tom Hurley, Atlantic City Mayor Richard Jackson & Commissioner Karlos LaSane, Sr. - Chelsea Little League, circa early 1970’s.

Honoring our Military and Veterans

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