CHARLESTON, WV –
Among all the traditions and festivities that made up this year’s Joyful Night holiday celebration
at the State Capitol complex Tuesday evening, one unique celebration stood out from the rest.
Gov. Jim Justice held a ceremony to award the West Virginia State Police’s Purple Heart Medal to Corporal Josh Ware and Trooper First Class Josh Tallman, for acts of immense courage over the past year.
“These men are truly among the bravest of the brave that we have here in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “They each ran toward dangerous situations to answer the call and keep our people safe, without regard for their own personal safety, and we could never begin to thank them enough for all that they’ve sacrificed.”
In July, Cpl. Ware was called to the scene of an accident on I-81 near Martinsburg. An oversized tractor trailer had struck an overhead utility cable, which resulted in telephone and power lines falling onto the roadway.
While attempting to clear the debris to keep anyone from being hurt, another tractor trailer hit and dragged the already-downed lines, causing Cpl. Ware to be struck. He suffered serious injuries, was rushed to the hospital, and underwent multiple surgeries.
Fortunately, Ware survived, but has faced a long road to recovery. He continues to undergo extensive rehabilitation for his injuries.
In August, TFC Tallman was fired upon and wounded while trying to apprehend an armed suspect in Pocahontas County.
Prior to this encounter, the suspect had already fired shots at multiple law enforcement officers, fleeing into a nearby wooded area. TFC Tallman tracked the suspect into the woods, eventually encountering him.
The suspect shot at TFC Tallman, striking him with two bullets to the abdomen. Then, the suspect ran toward TFC Tallman in an effort to disarm him. However, while wounded, TFC Tallman stood his ground and returned fire, killing the suspect and eliminating the threat to the other law enforcement officers on the scene and any members of the public in the area.
TFC Tallman was flown to the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries. Like Cpl. Ware, his recovery continues.