On Friday Congressman Jim Langevin presented Cranston resident Mrs. Carol Liebrich, the widow of World War II veteran Robert Liebrich, with a Purple Heart with a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, signifying the second Purple Heart he has received.
When he was just 18 years old, Private First Class (PFC) Liebrich was shot in the abdomen by enemy fire in events leading up to the Battle of the Bulge, which began in December 1944 and was the last major German offensive campaign of the war. He earned his first Purple Heart from this injury.
After a quick recovery, PFC Liebrich returned to his unit, and then in March 1945, in a different engagement with opposing forces, he was shot in his right arm by enemy fire but was not awarded the second Purple Heart for the injury at that time.
Congressman Langevin assisted Mrs. Liebrich to petition the Department of the Army for the second Purple Heart that was rightfully her late husband’s. After talking with the National Personal Records Center, the proper documentation was found, and the Purple Heart with a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster was hand-delivered to Mrs. Liebrich and members of her family at Langevin’s office.
“We owe our soldiers who fought in World War II an enormous debt of gratitude, and PFC Liebrich is no exception,” said Congressman Langevin. “I was honored to work with the Army to correct this oversight, and it was a true privilege to present Mrs. Liebrich and her family the Purple Heart for Robert Liebrich’s heroism.”
“My husband would have been so honored,” said Mrs. Liebrich. “Thank you, Congressman Langevin, for helping me get this award for my husband for his service in World War II.”
Robert Liebrich, 88, passed away in 2014.