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Pen Woods receives Outstanding Ex-POW Award

Pendleton Woods, B/394, of Oklahoma City OK, is the recipient of the annual award of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Outstanding Ex-POW of the nation for 2005. The award is presented annually to one person for outstanding patriotic and civic service to the nation, community, and veterans.

Woods was captured on a reconnaissance patrol behind German lines Dec. 10, 1944, during the German buildup for the Battle of the Bulge. He escaped the prison April 20, 1945, Adolf Hitler's birthday, under Russian artillery fire, reaching the American lines five days later.

After the war he was commissioned through Army ROTC at the University of Arkansas, accepted employment in Oklahoma City OK, and joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He served again in combat in the Korean War as the 45th Infantry Division public information officer. Remaining in the National Guard following the war, he retired in 1983 as a colonel, and in 1992, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.

He is past local and state commander of the Ex-Prisoners of War in Oklahoma and past local, state, and regional commander of the Military Order of the World Wars, an organization of present and former officers in the Armed Forces. The Oklahoma City chapter of MOWW has been renamed in his honor and is the only chapter among the nearly 150 in the nation named for a living individual. He has given nearly 7,000 volunteer hours to patients at the Veterans Administration hospital in Oklahoma City.

At age 82, he continues part-time employment at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City as director of its American Citizenship Center, an outreach department of the university reaching young people with the message of patriotism, sense of purpose, drug abatement, and a commitment to public service.