92-Year-Old Endicott Man Honored for WWII Service

Published 05/13 2014 04:50PM

Updated 05/13 2014 05:16PM

A 92-year-old Endicott man is receiving recognition for sacrifices he made 70 years ago.

Ernie Love was presented with medals he earned in World War II today by Congressman Richard Hanna.

Love received the silver star, the purple heart and six other medals, stars and bars.

He was a Staff Sergeant in the New York Army National Guard who was activated as a 19-year-old in 1940. Love led an infantry patrol into battle in the Pacific Theater.

"I got shrapnel in my back. I've still got some steel in my back. At the time I got hit there were some other people who were more injured than I was. So, I spent a couple days in the field hospital then I went back on the line," said Love.

Love's granddaughter, Laura Frederick, says he's downplaying his heroism. She says he single-handedly killed 14 enemy soldiers in the process of rescuing his wounded comrades.

Frederick says the decision to apply for his medals began when Love wanted to discard his old Army foot locker and his family objected.

"He's still going. He's definitely my hero and he's taught me everything that he knows. I'm just so proud to call him my grandfather," said Frederick.

Love says he wasn't personally interested in the medals, but got them for his family to keep.

After the war, Love worked at IBM for 38 years, retiring in 1983 and was married for 67 years until his wife passed away last year.

Congressman Hanna says his office applies for medals for World War II veterans several times a year, although he says soon all of them will have passed on.

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