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>>

  • Burglary suspects caught

    Burglary suspects caught

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:14:49 GMT
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
  • Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:12:17 GMT
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
  • Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:09:17 GMT
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
  • Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:10:40 GMT
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
  • Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:12:45 GMT
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
  • NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:39:59 GMT
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
  • Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:11:41 GMT
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
  • Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:20:31 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
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.