MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An army man, who fought for our country and was injured in battle more than 50 years ago, is inching closer to finally getting the Purple Heart.
Sixty-nine years since being wounded in war Robert Bohm, or Bob, remembers dates, places, even battalion numbers. The 93-year-old served during World War II. He was an army lineman responsible for communications.
Bob told CBS4’s Jamie Guirola, “You have an 87 pound field pack on your back. You have a 105 pound switchboard on ya. You have five or six telephones wrapped around your neck and you have four or five miles of saltwire.”
It was in 1944 during the Battle of Monte Cassino, or the Battle for Rome, where Bob was hit in the head by enemy fire and knocked unconscious. For two weeks he lay in a coma. In fact, doctors didn’t think he’d pull through–and signed this document awarding him the Purple Heart. But Bob surprised everyone and woke up.
Bob said, “I asked the nurse what day it was and she told me it was the 14th day and I said oh its valentines day don’t I look like a fine valentine she says you look like an old goat to me.”
Eventually Bob returned home in 1945 under the assumption he would get his Purple Heart. But he never got it. The office where his records were kept was destroyed by fire. For decades Bob and his family tried repeatedly to get the award he deserved and desired.
Bob said, “Boy it will be a big relief . Because the thing is I wanted my wife to see it and of course she passed away. And there went my chance to have her celebrate with me.”
His wife may not get to see Bob get the award, but for the first time in 50-plus years it looks like Bob may actually get the Purple Heart. His daughter found the paperwork they thought was destroyed inside a shoe box while cleaning out the garage.
“All were doing not is waiting we got all the paperwork done. And we don’t know how much longer and all they have to do is wait about a year, two years or maybe tomorrow. Not have to worry about it because I might fall over dead,” said Bob.
Bob was also given two Presidential Citations. To expedite things the family has contacted Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.