Wheeler Calls on Residents to Support Medal of Honor Candidate

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is calling on residents to support a petition encouraging Presidents Obama’s review to award the Congressional Medal of Honor to WWII veteran Loren Duke Abdalla, known as Duke “The Indian” to his comrades in arms. Wheeler authored a resolution in the spring of 2014, supported by many of her colleagues, which urged Congress and the President to review Cpl. Abdalla’s heroism.

“Cpl. Abdalla was overlooked for the Medal of Honor because of his Native American heritage,” said Wheeler. “I’m glad that the President has taken up a review of Cpl. Abdalla’s heroism and sacrifice for our nation and I hope he will soon be recognized for his service to America.”

The actions in question occurred on May 5, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa in the Pacific theater where Abdalla was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Cpl. Abdalla displayed the bravery and heroism that has earned many other American servicemen the Congressional Medal of Honor, but at the time, giving the Medal of Honor to a Native American was an unlikely prospect. This has led to efforts around the country to have Cpl. Abdalla’s record reviewed, including in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Wheeler is encouraging residents to sign the petition on http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/papaduke in hopes it will lead to the President giving Cpl. Abdalla the recognition he deserves.

For more information on the resolution authored by Wheeler in 2014 visit: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HR&DocNum=1086&GAID=12&SessionID=85&LegID=82223.

To view the tribute before the U.S. Congress to Cpl. Abdalla visit: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2014/12/12/senate-section/article/s6784-4.