Quantcast

Family of World War I vet gets dad's Purple Heart - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Family of World War I vet gets dad's Purple Heart

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

"I want to thank you for everything you put together for me," Fred Demag said.

Demag was overcome by emotion as he prepared to receive his father's Purple Heart at the Vermont Statehouse.

Cpl. John H. Demag was posthumously awarded the medal for wounds he received in action Aug. 4, 1918, in France.

And 96 years after their father was shot and wounded in France in World War I, two of his eight children received the Purple Heart in his honor.

Reporter Julie Kelley: It wasn't until you were 79 that you really knew what he had been through.

Fred Demag: Oh yeah, I didn't know anything about it, his past in the Army. He wouldn't talk to us.

Instead, Cpl. Demag came home in 1919 and did what he loved. He started a trucking business and raised eight children.

"We're proud of him. He was a good dad. He was one of those that disciplined with the mouth, not with the hand. Which was a good thing. Except for me," daughter Flo Bovat laughed.

Search Cpl. John Demag and the first thing that comes up is World War I casualties. He was shot and wounded 96 years ago, but it was only nine months ago that his family learned what happened to him.

"My stepdaughter loves the Internet and that's where it all came out," Fred Demag said.

Discovering he earned a Purple Heart-- but his secret kept him from receiving it until now.

"What soldiers received in World War I was a wounded chevron and they wore it on their sleeve. And then in 1932 the Purple Heart was established and retroactively soldiers that were injured all the way back to April 5, 1917, could receive the Purple Heart," explained Maj. Gen. Steve Cray of the Vermont National Guard.

A representative from Sen. Bernie Sanders' office read a message to the family from the senator, "My sincerest congratulations on the issuance of the Purple Heart to your father."

Sanders' office helped make this day possible for Fred Demag and his family.

"I went to the senator's office and this young one here got me started and it came out perfect today!" Fred Demag said.

A perfect ending for a son who so clearly cherishes his father.

The family plans to keep the Purple Heart at the family homestead in the New North End.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Did you feel it? Minor earthquake reported in Vt.

    Did you feel it? Minor earthquake reported in Vt.

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:38:13 GMT
    A minor earthquake was reported in Vermont early Friday, just across the New Hampshire line.
    A minor earthquake was reported in Vermont early Friday, just across the New Hampshire line.
  • New York woman dies after 2 SUVs collide

    New York woman dies after 2 SUVs collide

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:46:12 GMT
    Police say a western New York woman has died after the vehicle she was riding in was involved in a collision on an Adirondack road.
    Police say a western New York woman has died after the vehicle she was riding in was involved in a collision on an Adirondack road.
  • Man injured on rope swing at Dorset quarry

    Man injured on rope swing at Dorset quarry

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:22:43 GMT
    Police say a Vermont man suffered a head injury while trying to use a rope swing to jump from a quarry into some water.
    Police say a Vermont man suffered a head injury while trying to use a rope swing to jump from a quarry into some water.
  • Accolades pour in for late Vermont law professor

    Accolades pour in for late Vermont law professor

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:32:11 GMT
    Cheryl Hanna is being remembered as a favorite teacher at Vermont Law School and an inspiration to many in Vermont's legal community.
    Cheryl Hanna is being remembered as a favorite teacher at Vermont Law School and an inspiration to many in Vermont's legal community.
  • Gov. Shumlin 'relieved' by Congress's highway plan

    Gov. Shumlin 'relieved' by Congress's highway plan

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:12:56 GMT
    Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's relieved that Congress has provided a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund that will keep dozens of road construction projects in the state on-track.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's relieved that Congress has provided a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund that will keep dozens of road construction projects in the state on-track.
  • FairPoint contract expires this weekend

    FairPoint contract expires this weekend

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:56:19 GMT
    FairPoint Communications and unions representing 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are up against a weekend deadline in their ongoing contract negotiations.
    FairPoint Communications and unions representing 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are up against a weekend deadline in their ongoing contract negotiations.
  • New NH law will ban hand-held devices while driving

    New NH law will ban hand-held devices while driving

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:53:48 GMT
    Motorists travelling through New Hampshire are seeing electronic highway signs warning them about distracted driving - the first messages in what will eventually become a full-blown public awareness campaign about...
    Motorists traveling through New Hampshire are seeing electronic highway signs warning them about distracted driving - the first messages in what will eventually become a full-blown public awareness campaign about a law that will ban the use of all hand-held electronic devices while driving.
  • Hassan signs pre-buy fuel contracts bill

    Hassan signs pre-buy fuel contracts bill

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:49:19 GMT
    New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a measure that changes when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.
    New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a measure that changes when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.