EL PASO (AP) – A World War II veteran injured in 1944 when he was struck by a German tank in France has been posthumously awarded a Purple Heart in a West Texas ceremony.

Relatives of Army Pvt. Juan C. Marquez accepted the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars awarded to him posthumously Friday. The honors at Fort Bliss come decades after Marquez suffered shrapnel wounds and later broken ribs and a separated shoulder when he was hit by the tank.

Marquez was discharged in 1945 but died three years later in an accident. He left behind a wife and four sons.

His relatives worked to find the right documents to prove he deserved the honors. They say they made unsuccessful attempts for years before the Army agreed to award the medals.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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