Clint R. Sagers
423rd Regiment, Company G
106th Infantry Division 

WWII vet to receive Purple Heart - 65 years late

RUSH VALLEY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - After waiting nearly 65 years, a true Utah hero will finally get the recognition he deserves for the wound he received during that historic World War II battle----The Battle of the Bulge.

Clint Sagers of Rush Valley was the Grand Marshall of last year’s Veteran’s Day Parade in Murray. He was honored with a special citation for his war time sacrifice. After the story aired on ABC 4, Clint received phone calls and even a beautiful patriotic quilt from viewers who were touched by his story---but no Purple Heart. “I felt pretty bad,” said Clint. “I thought, when you’re wounded in action, you get the Purple Heart… they kept telling me, ‘you’ll get it, you’ll get it,’ but it never came.”

Clint left behind his young bride in 1943. He was headed to Europe at age 19, a soldier in the 106th Infantry Division.

He was an Army Scout and usually operated well in front of the rest of his company. Just before his capture he was assigned to signaling American Troops which kept them from running straight into the 600,000 strong German Army. It was shortly after that mission that he was hit with an enemy artillery shell that sent burning shrapnel into his left knee. “I could feel the blood running down my leg,” recalled Clint. He was captured along with hundreds of other GI’s and forced to march miles on his wounded leg. “One guy said, ‘Sagers, you’re dropping behind,’ I said, ‘I can’t help it. It’s really cuttin’ into me.”

During the march he caught frost bite and nearly lost his toes. He spent nearly six months in a POW camp where food was scarce. “I figured that’s how I was going to lose my life; starving to death.”

It is a story that deserves a happy ending. On Friday Clint received word he will finally receive his long-awaited Purple Heart. “I’m happy,” he said. “Very, very happy. It’s something that I’ve wanted all my life.” Clint has just the place reserved for it too; a medals case donated to Clint that house’s some of his other meritorious awards.

Clint's family says he never shared any of his war time ordeals until 15 years ago and began his quest for the Purple Heart about six years ago. When he started making inquiries he learned that a fire had destroyed his service records. It took the Utah Department of Veteran's Affairs, Utah's three congressmen and two senators to cut through the red tape and get the medal approved. Clint expects his medal in about two weeks and says he may receive it in a special ceremony at the state capitol.
Buddy Blankenfeld - ABC 4 - Salt Lake City,USA
Page last revised 06/29/2008