Tilton veteran, 90, gets Fenway first pitch honor
George Nichols brings the heat when tossing out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on Saturday night. (COURTESY BOSTON RED SOX)
A retired U.S. Army sergeant, he served in Anzio, Italy, during World War II as a medic on the front lines for three years starting in 1942. In his last year in Italy, he was shot in the knee but kept working, pulling men to safer ground while injured, he said.
He has applied for the medal several times, but was denied each time because the government said he needed three witnesses to his injury, he said.
His wish for a Purple Heart drew media coverage last week. The Associated Press picked up the story, and on Wednesday Henry read the story online and had his staff call the veterans home.
Nichols made the trip and enjoyed the experience, he said.
He was parked near the pitcher’s mound Saturday night, where he threw a low strike to Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. Gomes then walked up and high-fived Nichols.
He plans to continue his battle for a Purple Heart.
“I really think I deserve it, I got hit just like a lot of other guys got hit,” he said. “I’ll keep trying, I’m not giving up.”
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