By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - A World War II veteran from Muncie has received a Purple Heart 72 years after being wounded in combat.

Ninety-one-year-old Junior Howell received the medal Wednesday during a public ceremony.

While serving as a Marine during the Battle of Peleliu in 1944 in the Pacific, Howell’s unit came under fire and he was struck by shrapnel in the buttocks.

Thirteen years ago, a veterans affairs service officer tried to help Howell obtain the medal, but the Marine Corps said then it could not find any evidence he was wounded in action. Current Delaware County Veterans Affairs Officer Nate Jones renewed efforts for Howell and succeeded with the help of U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly.

Howell says he was happy to have served in the Marines.

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