Veteran Stewart ” Gene” Walker still has World War Two fresh in his mind. The 103-year-old Spencerport native served as a medic in Hawaii weeks after the Pearl Harbor bombings.
Walker was also a part of the 34th Infantry and faced some of the most horrific combat of the war in the Pacific.
“I had a lot of good times and a lot of scary times I tell you,” said Walker. “When I had to go to the front lines and a patient. I had to go by the treetops, because I didn’t know where the road was and stuff like that.”
That is why Walker’s friends and neighbors stepped in, to give him the medals they felt, were long overdue. But, there was one problem. All of Walker’s military records had been destroyed in a fire two years ago and with them, any proof of his heroic service.
Walker’s longtime neighbor Lee Arbegast was not giving up. Arberhast wrote a letter to the White House asking for help. They then reached out to various military organizations. In the end, they were able to pull together Walker’s records and paint the full picture of his military service.
On Wednesday, June 12, the American Legion presented Stewart Walker with the Bronze Star Medal for bravery. Walker was also presented with the Silver Star and a Medic’s badge.
Walker simply said he hopes he can live up to the honor.