WWII Purple Heart recipient celebrates 102nd birthday in Harrisburg


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A big birthday celebration for a WWII hero. Ed Focht turned 102 Monday, and the staff at The Manor at Oakridge in Harrisburg made sure he was recognized for the hero he is.

A man of few words, but full of smiles, everyone at the retirement community, family, friends and staff celebrated the Harrisburg native.

“He was a paratrooper. He had I’m not sure how many jobs, but he was at the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans and everyone were afraid of them, and he did get wounded in the war,” said Focht’s niece, Romaine Fadrowski.

Focht was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in 1945 after joining in 1941; but not before making a name for himself. He received several medals, including the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service medal, and six bronze stars.

“All the acclamations he’s gotten from the service, when I was even reading up on his bio, I was like ‘oh my gosh,’ it’s impressive. You don’t hear that too much anymore,” said Resident Experience Coordinator at The Manor at Oakridge, Kim Hurlock.

At 102, the staff believes he’s the oldest male resident they’ve ever had.

“Ed amazes me for being 102. He’s a spry bugger and he’s always friendly,” said Hurlock.

And a true American hero, one of the oldest this country has.

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