Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Facebook: Honoring Eki Yandall with the Purple Heart
Below is a message from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard presented to Edward “Eki” Robert Yandall of Hawaii Island upon his being awarded the Purple Heart Medal:
Less than one-percent of Americans volunteer to put their lives on the line to serve in our military and protect the American people. Throughout his life, Edward “Eki” Robert Yandall has gone above and beyond in answering the call to serve, enlisting in the Army in 1951, and later fighting courageously in the Vietnam War. It was in Vietnam where he risked his life to alert his fellow soldiers of incoming fire, and suffered an injury that has left a lasting impact on him throughout his life. Fifty years after the Vietnam War and Eki’s return home, we honor him with a medal that he never wanted or asked for, but that is earned by those who sacrifice most.
As a Purple Heart recipient, Eki stands in the ranks of people like Hawaiʻi’s Senator Daniel Inouye, President John. F. Kennedy, and so many more. Today we honor him, as we do them, our nation’s most prominent and distinguished heroes. Eki has overcome insurmountable odds in the wake of a terrible tragedy, and despite these challenges, continue to have a servant’s heart.
Eki, you are an example of heroism and strength for the many men and women who have followed in your path, and we will forever be indebted to you, and to those who didn’t make it home. You have sacrificed so much and will forever remain a symbol of bravery and resiliency to a nation that appreciates you. Mahalo nui loa once again for your selfless service and countless sacrifices, both in peace and at war. Because of you, we are able to continue to live a way of life that is uniquely our own, and incomparable to any other country on the face of the Earth.
In recognition of a chapter in our nation's history that must never be forgotten, or repeated, let us renew our sacred commitment to those who answered our country's call. We remain vigilant for those who remain lost. May we find peace and be forever grateful for all our servicemen and women who are memorialized, not only in medals and memories, but in the heart of a grateful nation.
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