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U.S. Representative Justin Amash

Representing the 3rd District of Michigan

Media Advisory: Amash Presents Purple Heart

September 26, 2011
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      
September 26, 2011       
Will Adams
Media Advisory: Amash Presents Purple Heart
Third District Family Receives Honor for Staff Sergeant’s Service
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Justin Amash will present the Military Order of the Purple Heart to Edith Koon, on behalf of her brother, Staff Sergeant Everell D. Olson. Staff Sergeant Olson is being awarded the Purple Heart posthumously for wounds sustained during World War II.
As a member of the United States Army, Staff Sergeant Olson was held as a Prisoner of War at the Cabanatuan, Philippines camp beginning in 1942. Facing brutal conditions including disease, torture, and malnourishment, Staff Sergeant Olson survived the Bataan Death March, but died from his injuries in 1943 while still imprisoned. He was 23 years old.
“I am honored to present this prestigious award in recognition of a brave service member who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the blessings of liberty for his fellow Americans,” said Amash.
Lieutenant Colonel Stewart L. Stephenson, Chief of the Army’s Awards and Decorations Branch, said, “It is an honor to issue this award in recognition of Staff Sergeant Olson’s faithful and dedicated service to our Nation during a time of great need.” 
Joining Amash will be Brigadier General Burton Francisco of the Michigan National Guard and family members of the 109 year old Mrs. Koon, including her son, Darrell Koon, who was instrumental in securing this prestigious honor for his deceased uncle.
This event is open to the media but not the general public.
Edith Koon, sister of Staff Sergeant Olson
Darrel Koon, nephew of Staff Sergeant Olson
Brigadier General Burton Francisco, Michigan Army National Guard
Rep. Justin Amash
Presentation of Purple Heart
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
2 PM - 2:30 PM
Pilgrim Manor
2000 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505
Contact: Kim Wozniak, 616.458.1133
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