Sisters to see soldier receive Purple Heart

Katie May, 10, and Jennifer May, 16, pose with the car they're taking to Texas at the Rent-A-Wreck at 2625 N. Main St. They're going to Texas to see their sister, Candice, receive a Purple Heart.

LARA NEEL/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 12:46 a.m.
It took just a week of fund raising for the Gilchrist County Historical Society to find a way to get the sisters of a wounded soldier to Texas to see her being awarded the Purple Heart.
Pfc. Candice May, a 2001 Bell High graduate, was wounded while on a patrol in Baghdad in early June. Although May's Kevlar vest saved her life, she remains at Fort Bliss in Texas trying to regain use of her injured left hand.
She will be the first Gilchrist County resident to be awarded a Purple Heart since the turn of the century.
May's parents, step-parents and siblings were unable to afford to travel to Fort Bliss for the Wednesday award ceremony, so the historical society opened up a fund at the Tri-County Bank in Trenton. On Monday morning, the fund had nearly reached $1,900, enough for May's father, John W. May Jr. to rent a car and pay for motels, meals and gas to get his two youngest daughters, Jennifer, 16, and Katie, 10, to Texas and back.
"I am really, really, really excited to be going," said Katie as she helped pack a rental car in Gainesville.
Jennifer said she was looking forward to taking a lot of photographs during the trip with the disposable cameras that had been donated to the family - four for each of the girls.
Candice May said that although she expects to be able to come home for a few weeks later this summer, it will mean a lot to her to have family members with her when she receives her Purple Heart.
"I was really excited when they called this weekend and said they were coming," May said over the phone Monday. "I am looking forward to seeing my sister and just hanging out and doing girlie things - you know, like shopping. We're going to have fun."
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or

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