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Grand Haven native killed during WWI posthumously awarded Purple Heart

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 17:34:19-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A Grand Haven native killed in action during World War I has been posthumously awarded a Purple Heart for his service.

At the VFW Post 2326 named in his honor, local vets, community members and great-niece Lisa Stoner
gathered to honor the service of Sgt. Alvin Jonker.

Jonker was a mason and construction worker in Grand Haven before enlisting in the Army Nation Guard and serving during World War I.

While on the frontlines in France, Jonker was shot and killed in 1918.

U.S. Rep Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) presented the Purple Heart to the VFW Post on Tuesday.

“This gentleman was killed over 100 years ago during World War I. To memorialize that, to remember that, to pass that story along, that’s crucial in my mind. We need to make sure that generations that follow understand the sacrifice that has been made,” Huizenga said.

Jonker’s Purple Heart will be put on display in the VFW Hall in Grand Haven.

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