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Citadel News Service

For Release
February 6, 2003

Purple Heart to be presented to Citadel friend

          The Citadel is proud to present William Saunders of Johns Island with a Purple Heart, a combat medal to recognize members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded at enemy hands in war.

          A leader in Charleston's African American community and a friend of The Citadel, Saunders was a civil rights activist, former owner of Charleston radio station WPAL and in 1994 was elected to the state's Public Service Commission, where he served as chairman.

          Army Col. Brian McMillan, a Citadel professor of military science, will formally present Saunders with the Purple Heart during the South Carolina Corps of Cadets dress parade Friday, Feb. 7, 2003. The military parade begins at 3:45 p.m. on Summerall Field. In the event of inclement weather, the presentation will take place in Mark Clark Hall Auditorium.

          Saunders joined the Army in 1951 when he was 16. Eight months later he was wounded in the Korean War when a booby trap shattered his M-1 rifle and broke his right foot. Following his three-month hospital recovery Saunders returned to the war front. He retired from military service in 1954 and received the Purple Heart in December 2002.

          In addition to the Purple Heart, Saunders has received the Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Medal.

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