Local 82nd Airborne veteran honored - abc27 WHTM

Local 82nd Airborne veteran honored

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William "Jim" Baumgardner, 69, was honored by the Central Pennsylvania 82nd Airborne Division Association on Wednesday for his military service.

Baumgardner, who lives at Manor Care in Camp Hill, served in the 82nd Airborne for three years. He has 32 jumps.

"It was the biggest part of his life being Airborne. This is something really great for him," Jim's brother Paul Baumgardner said.

Surrounded by family and fellow residents, Jim received a pin and a chapter coin.

"He is a fellow trooper. We stick together. It is very special," said David Foy, a former national president of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.

In his early 30's, Jim suffered several strokes that almost killed him. His family says he struggled to even walk again.

"He had three strokes in a row. They almost did him in. He fought his way back; a tough guy," said Paul Ross, Jim's brother-in-law.

At the age of 69, Jim is in a wheelchair. His family says although he struggles to talk, they know he is thrilled to be honored by a fellow trooper.

"We feel important sometimes, but in his condition how does he feel important? This is it right here. This made his day, week, month, year," Paul Baumgardner said.

The ceremony was held on September 11.

"Today of all days is a great day to remember that countries like ours need heroes, families need heroes, so I am just lucky enough to have both in my family," nephew Paul Baumgardner Jr. said.


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