COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Purple Heart Medal presentation took place at Fort Jackson to recognize Sergeant Perry Loyd’s contribution and sacrifice as a volunteer soldier during World War I.
Loyd was from South Carolina and trained at Camp Jackson in 1917.
He deployed as part of the 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division (Colored), American Expeditionary Force and was wounded in action on Sept. 29, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Loyd was discharged at the end of the war and returned to his life as a sharecropper in Sumter County, S.C.
He died in 1946 at the age of 61 without knowing his chain of command had recommended he receive the Wounded Chevron, which later qualified him for the Purple Heart Medal.
The Purple Heart is given to those who are wounded or killed while fighting in our nation’s wars.
Perry W. James, IV, grandson of Sgt. Perry Loyd who he was named after, was the one who discovered the medal was never delivered.
James also served in the military.
Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle, U.S Army Commander of Ft. Jackson said, “Years later, that’s when the grandson picks up the mantle and says we got to set this right because he earned it.”
“The end of December, I started to do my research on my grandfather and found out that he was wounded in WWI,” James said.
After months of work, family and friends from all across the nation came to Ft. Jackson for a ceremony that honored Sergeant Perry Loyd for what he sacrificed for our country years ago.
“Even though I never met him I feel like I’ve known him all of my life. And today made it all real, ”Teresa Bracey, Loyd’s Granddaughter said.
A century later, James stepped in his grandfather’s place instead, accepting the Purple Heart in memory of his sacrifice.
“I find great joy looking at his picture because I believe I’m looking at his soul and he was here today,” Loyd said.