Rep. Kochmar sponsors resolution honoring WWII and Korean War veteran
The state House today honored Retired Army Master Sgt. James Hayden with a resolution sponsored by Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, in recognition of his sacrifices during World War II and the Korean War.
Several months ago, Hayden's family contacted Kochmar to inquire about the possibility of Hayden receiving his Prisoner of War medals for his service during the Korean War, which he had never received.
“After hearing James' story, the sacrifices he made and the torture he endured on behalf of our country, I wanted to ensure he was properly honored for his service,” said Kochmar. “It's important we continue to honor and remember the sacrifices so many brave men and women make on our behalf.”
“Military servicemen and servicewoman have such a special place in my heart as my late husband and brother both served in the Vietnam War.”
James began his more than 18-year service in 1944, and received a Purple Heart for his heroism in WWII. During a ceremony in September at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Hayden received his POW medals. On Dec. 1, 1950, Hayden was captured during the Korean War and was not released until Sep. 5, 1953 following the signing of the armistice.
It was discovered during the ceremony Hayden had also not received his Silver Star for his heroics in Germany during the Second World War. In March 1945, after investigating a tunnel and participating in battle with enemy troops, Hayden single-handedly killed two German soldiers, injured four and captured 12, earning him a Silver Star.
It has been more than 61 years since Hayden was imprisoned during the Korean War.
###Washington State House Republican Communications