Vietnam vet gets Purple Heart after 44 years - KMSP-TV

Vietnam vet gets Purple Heart after 44 years

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Decades after suffering a head injury in Vietnam, a Minnesota veteran has been awarded the Purple Heart.

Mike Kirkpatrick of Bloomington looked upon his medal with awe Saturday. The 68-year-old says it's hard to explain what it means to him, and that he's amazed to receive it.

The Purple Heart is given to all service members hurt or killed by enemy fire.

Kirkpatrick served as a Navy hospital corpsman in Vietnam. During a 1968 mission someone stepped on an explosive device, and Kirkpatrick was injured by shrapnel.

Kirkpatrick's service buddies tried for years to get him a medal, but they didn't get far until they finally contacted Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Kirkpatrick says he'd grateful, although he was just doing his duty.


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