I would like to share with you an article written about Tommy E. Fowler, "5-time recipient of Purple Heart to be honored" and it was written by Mike Baird.
Below is the story and the link as a refernce as well as photos.
1. 5-time recipient of Purple Heart to be honored : Corpus Christi Local | Caller-Times |
James Van Thach
United States Army
5-time recipient of Purple Heart to be honored
He's a soft-spoken veteran who risked life and limb through two wars and nearly lost both five times.
Tommy E. Fowler, 74, a five-time Purple Heart recipient, has the most of any of the 149 Coastal Bend recipients being celebrated today at Sherrill Park, said Ram Chavez, commander of The Military Order of the Purple Heart Alaniz-Valentine Chapter 598.
"He is the real deal," Chavez added. "These recipients are the most honorable veterans in our ranks."
In 37 years Fowler served around the world in three U.S. military branches -- Army, Marines, and Air Force -- and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Ordered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began classified operations in the late 1950s in Vietnam. Glass covered wall display cases line the spiral staircase to his loft bedroom with 87 other military medals, ribbons and awards.
He's still prohibited from talking about a lot of his special operations that earned some awards that are still held classified, Chavez said.
Fowler's more than 600 secret missions led teams that rescued downed pilots behind enemy lines, or attacked convoys before reaching their destinations or planned air attacks on targets. He was shot in the left leg in Korea, shot again in Vietnam in the right leg while dangling from a helicopter, then later in the arm while hiding his team in the hills. The most serious wounds came on another mission from being shot in the stomach while helping a South Vietnamese unit that was surrounded. Fowler still has constant intestinal and stomach trouble today, he said.
He wears his five purple hearts on the front of a hat.
"Purple has always indicated royalty and loyalty," Fowler said . There are no regrets for fighting for freedom, he said. "It should be what every boy and girl in America aspires to," he said. "Military is the greatest career there is for security and a future."
His family heralds his humanitarian heart.
"He has a purple heart inside," said Linda Fowler, his wife. The couple met in South America, while she served as an Air Force nurse. He touched her heart while organizing pancake breakfasts between missions to help lepers sell wood carvings they made, she said.
"He's always been my silent hero."