Highland Purple Heart Vet Passes Away at 97, His Harrowing Story
Sometimes you hear a story that just moves you to the point where you need to share every little detail you were given.
Last week we received an email from Chris Greenberg who wrote to us asking if we would share his grandfather's inspiring story.
Abner Greenberg, who was originally from NYC but lived in Highland, sadly passed away back on February 3rd, 2022. At 97-years-young, Abner Greenberg lived one heck of a life.
Purple Heart After Iwo Jima
Chris wrote to us and shared that not only was his grandfather a veteran who enlisted in the Marines after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, but he was also a Purple Heart recipient. Abner Greenberg received his Purple Heart after a terrible incident in 1945, after 17 days of being deployed, where he was shot in the head while on Iwo Jima.
For 90 days, Abner Greenberg was unconscious on a hospital ship.
He sadly lost 2 friends, with one of his friends dying in his arms.
In Abner's obituary, which his grandson Chris wrote, we learned that he also made an appearance in an HBO documentary about PTSD. The doc, called Wartorn 1861-2010, was directed by Sopranos star James Gandolfini. In the documentary, Abner is filmed saying:
“How do you explain to anybody the horrors that you saw and touched and just soaked into your whole body, your brain, your mind, everything? It finally consumes you if you let it.”
PTSD Support Groups
Chris shared that later on in life, his grandfather worked closely with PTSD organizations with World War II veterans and Purple Heart recipients. Abner was also known to mentor younger veterans and back in 2014 was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
In 2018, Abner and his wife Marilyn moved from New York City to Highland in Ulster County where he would live out the rest of his extraordinary life. Abner is survived by his wife Marilyn, brothers Robert and Harvey, four children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
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