Patsy Hollingsworth (second from right) and Roxie Greenway (second from left), daughters of the late Pfc. James Rhoads, pose for a photo with U.S. Congressman John Carter, right, 31st Congressional District in the House of Representatives, and Maj. Gen Perry Wiggins, First Army Division West commanding general, with their father's Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals that were presented in a posthumous awards ceremony at the Peacock Ranch in Gatesville, Texas, April 2,
2012. Photo by Dale Waldrep, Division West
GATESVILLE, Texas (4/2/2012) – Almost seven decades after his
honorable discharge from the United States Army, the late Pfc. James
Rhoads has been recognized for his bravery and valor for service to
U.S. Congressman John Carter, 31st Congressional
District in the House of Representatives, and Maj. Gen Perry
Wiggins, First Army Division West commanding general, presented
Rhoads' daughters, Patsy Hollingsworth and Roxie Greenway, with
their father's Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals at the Peacock
Ranch in Gatesville, April 2.
Nearly two years ago, Rhoads'
grandson, Mike Hollingsworth, found an old document referencing his
grandfather being injured in combat. He asked his mother why Rhoads
did not have the award.
“When she stated that she hadn't seen
an actual award, I wanted my grandfather
recognized for his efforts,” Mike Hollingsworth said.
Thanks to Mike's dedication over the past two years, his
granddad was honored in today's ceremony, said Patsy
Hollingsworth, Mike's mother. “Through his dedication, hard
work and research, he made this come about.”
members of Rhoads' family attended the ceremony, including
his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“For the little ones, it's a piece of history,” Greenway
said, “and for the grandkids, it's just a very special honor
Rhoads was born, Dec. 24, 1919, in
Athens, Texas, to George C. and Ada Williams Rhoads. He
attended school in Ogelsby and McGregor, Texas, and was
inducted into the Army, April 15, 1942, in McGregor. He
married the late Cora Faye Bell of Moody, Texas, Nov. 9,
He was wounded Nov. 15, 1944, near Metz,
France, while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company
C, 1st Battalion, 379th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry
In addition to the Bronze Star and Purple
Heart Medals, Rhoads was also entitled to the American
Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign
Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, the World War II
Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the
Marksman's Badge with Rifle Bar and the Honorable Service
Lapel Button-World War II.
Many Division West
soldiers attended the award presentation ceremony, and the
unit also provided a color guard, ushers and attendants.
“The reason it's important for uniformed soldiers to
recognize Pfc. Rhoads is because he is our legacy,” Wiggins
said. “He is what makes our institution a great institution,
and we can be really respected in uniform because of his
Rhoads was described as a quiet man who never
boasted or bragged about his accomplishments.
soon as he was able to get out of the Army and head back to
Texas, he grabbed his duffle and moved out,” Carter said.
“He didn't wait around to get any medals. He had to get back
to his family, and that is the American warrior, being about
the folks back home.”
The award presentation was a
long time coming, Patsy Hollingsworth said.
meant a high honor for him,” Hollingsworth said. “I promise
he stopped his domino game to watch all this.”
By Army Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs
Comment on this article