FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- After more than a 100 years, and a postponement caused by Hurricane Florence, a South Carolina World War I veteran posthumously received his Purple Heart Medal at a ceremony on Fort Jackson Oct. 13.

The late Sgt. Perry Loyd was from Sumter County and served at the then-Camp Jackson with the 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division (Colored). He would serve in the trenches of the Western Front before being wounded Sept. 29, 1918.

His family would finally accept his Purple Heart at a ceremony that was originally scheduled for September, but was rescheduled due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence. Loyd's grandson, Perry W. James IV, accepted the medal on behalf of his family.

James said he takes pride in his grandfather's medal because "it's proof that my grandfather was a patriot, a war hero, and a leader of men."

Loyd was wounded at the battle of the Argonne Forest, which was part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from Sept. 26 until the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, during which Loyd was wounded. With the end of the war, Loyd was promoted to sergeant, discharged and returned to his life as a sharecropper in Sumter County, South Carolina.

Loyd died in 1946 at the age of 61, a decade before the birth of his grandson who was named for him.

Fort Jackson's commander, Brig. Gen. Milford "Beags" Beagle Jr., said it is important to ensure Soldiers receive the medals they are due because it helps increase the efficiency of the force.

"We've got to set this right because he earned it but nobody ever pinned it," Beagle said. "As you can tell, as Soldiers, that is something that is near and dear [and] if you earned it, awards are pinned."

Loyd died in 1946 at the age of 61, a decade before the birth of his grandson who was named for him.

James helped lead the charge to get the medal awarded, and with help from Sen. Tim Scott's office, the medal was finally secured. James is a World War I reenactor and has given speeches on post about the African-American experience during the Great War.