LEWISTON, Maine — A courageous veteran from Maine was honored posthumously by his country Wednesday in Lewiston.
The daughter of World War I veteran Private Arthur Labbay was presented with a Purple Heart for her late father's service.
Pauline Labbay Blais of Greene along with her sister Charlotte Landry reached out to Sen. Susan Collins' office in July, asking whether their father was eligible for a Purple Heart.
During the war, Private Labbay was sent to France and on July 18, 1918, was shot in the right arm and the throat while loading machine guns during combat.
He was hospitalized in France until December 1918 before returning home. Later, he was a patient at Togus until his death in 1980. He is buried in Lewiston.
Sen. Collins contacted the Department of Defense, which combed through Labbay's service records. The U.S. Army determined he was eligible.
"I've had the honor of doing these for World War II vets, for the Korean War, the Vietnam War, but never World War I," Collins said during the ceremony.
"I think he was very brave, and a very good man," Labbey Blais said. "That's an honor. Never thought that would happen to us, that's for sure. It's too bad we couldn't have done while he was still living."
Collins also presented the family with two flags that have been flown over the White House.