On Purple Heart Day, 3 Milwaukee recipients honored at War Memorial: “It’s about the guys that didn’t come back”

MILWAUKEE -- It is our nation's oldest military decoration, and on Monday, August 7th, Milwaukee's Purple Heart recipients were recognized for their sacrifice.

At the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee Monday, the Purple Heart recipients offered just a glimpse into their time in combat, and the circumstances.

William Goralski

"We were no longer fighting for our mother, our father, apple pie, the flag. We were fighting for each other," William Goralski said.

"People tend to forget. They tend to forget about the people killed or wounded," Monte Lunde said.

Lunde, injured during the Vietnam War while serving as an Army medic, led the ceremony. In fact, all three of the guest speakers served as Army medics.

Monte Lunde

"We were running into something all the time," Lunde said.

George Banda

"Fought alongside me on that day in May, and they are all gone," George Banda said.

Each offered a brief account of their time in battle, and put most of the focus on the names of those who gave their lives for our freedom.

"It's not about us. It's about all veterans and all the guys that didn't come back," Goralski said.

Goralski divides his time volunteering with eight different veterans organizations.

"I try to encourage a number of our Vietnam vets to get involved, even through they aren't Purple Hearters," Goralski said.

Purple Heart Day

Those in attendance for Monday's ceremony honored those who couldn't be there.

Purple Heart Day

"I remember them with sorrow, but I also remember their friendship," Banda said.

Purple Heart Day

A representative from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's Office read a proclamation during the ceremony, declaring August 7th Purple Heart Day.