Lawmakers hope to posthumously honor D-Day hero

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ On D-Day, Army Medic Corporal Waverly Woodson Jr. was wounded when a blast destroyed his landing craft.

Despite his injuries, Woodson set up an First-Aid station on Normandy’s Omaha Beach, where he treated at least 200 soldiers ─ removing bullets, cleaning wounds and saving lives for 30 hours, according to Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.

“If not for the heroism of Corporal Waverly Woodson, dozens, if not hundreds more would’ve been added to that grim tally,” Van Hollen said.

Woodson, an African American, never received a Medal of Honor for his selfless actions that day, despite recommendations from his commanders.

Rep. David Trone, D-Maryland, called it a travesty.

“No African Americans were recommended to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II,” Trone said.

Now Van Hollen, Trone and several other lawmakers are filing legislation that, if passed, would posthumously award Woodson with the nation’s highest award for heroism.

The Army has insisted it needs additional documents to prove Woodson earned the honor. But those records, according to Van Hollen, were destroyed in a fire in 1973.

He said documents or not, it’s time to right a historic wrong.

The legislation has support from one of President Donald Trump’s allies in the Senate. Woodson was born in Sen. Patrick Toomey’s home state of Pennsylvania.

“Give the President of the United States the tool, with which he can with the stroke of a pen correct this injustice,” Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, said.

Woondson died in Maryland in 2005. His widow, Joann, has been fighting since 2015 to ensure her husband is honored for his valor.

“Right this wrong,” she said. “Or at least [give] the recognition my dear, beloved husband deserved.”

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