MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs marked Purple Heart Day Monday with a special ceremony at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.
Among those recognized was Navy veteran Carl Goodermont, who was wounded in the Pacific during World War II and attends a day program at the veterans home complex in south Minneapolis.
"On January 5, 1945 we were hit by a Kamikaze and I was burned," the 94-year-old Bloomington man told KARE.
At the time of his injury Goodermont served aboard the USS Manila Bay, an escort carrier that was in the Philippines at the time it was struck by the Japanese suicide bomber.
"They treated me with Gentian Violet, and it was really violet!," Goodermont said, referring to the purple antiseptic dye used at the time to ward off infections.
"I didn’t have any fear. I just did my duty, that’s all. I did what any other kid would do."
His last stop before leaving the Navy in 1948 was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station near Waukegan, Illinois. That's where he met the love of his life, Rosemary Bruzewicz.
They returned to Minnesota and raised six children while Carl worked at Northern States Power.
Carl and others at the ceremony received metals from the Minnesota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Carl, who has been an active member in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, said he appreciated the gesture.
And on Purple Heart he had no trouble summing up what the military's most recognizable decoration means to him.
"To me, it means I fought for my country. I was privileged to do that."