James McKinney was a young Marine when he was wounded in Vietnam after a rocket hit his post in Da Nang.
The former commander of Pembroke American Legion Post 164 spent nine months in a Navy hospital but continues to have trouble walking, fellow Vietnam veteran Ernie Mitchell said, noting McKinney recently had shrapnel from his back.
The Rev. Jim Correll served as a Special Forces officer in Vietnam. When his patrol was attacked by overwhelming forces, Correll had to call for help in the form of a bombing mission right on top of his unit.
He was wounded as a result, but recovered and went on to become commander of the Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights.
Later, Correll earned a PhD in theology and published a number of Christian books.
Monday night, Cornell and McKinney unveiled a sign marking the city’s Purple Heart Trail, which honors them and other Purple Heart winners from Pembroke, including John Gordon Bacon, Robert Hughes and Avery Robinson.
The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 and began at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Home. It now covers 1,493 “routes and locations in the United States,” according to a resolution read by Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook.
The resolution said in part:
“Whereas, the city of Pembroke recognizes the enormous sacrifices made by our past and present military in defense of American freedom and democracy, and whereas the city of Pembroke wishes to commemorate those sacrifices and recognize veterans who have served our community and our country,” and continued, “Now, therefore, be it resolved, the mayor and council of the city of Pembroke hereby designates North and South Main Street as a Purple Heart Trail to be marked, recognized and visible to military and civilian traffic within the city.”