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Veteran gets Purple Heart 58 years after injury

POSTED: November 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Joe Parker Jr./

Clinton Henry, 81, waits for a Purple Heart to be pinned on him during a ceremony Friday on Fort Stewart. He was injured in Korea in 1950.

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Soldiers wounded in action are authorized to receive the Purple Heart medal. Sometimes the Army takes care of the award promptly and sometimes it takes a while.
Friday at Fort Stewart three soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 69th Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Army 3rd Division, were recognized for wounds received recently in Iraq. A fourth warrior, 81-year-old Clinton Henry, got a Purple Heart for a wound suffered 58 years ago in the Korean War.
“It feels good to be recognized,” he said, adding, “It’s been awhile.”
Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, commander of the division and Fort Stewart, pinned on each medal, shook each man’s hand and thanked them for their service.
SSgt. John Fortner, Spc. Michael Anderson and Pvt. Jim Davis, were the three soldiers from the 3-69 Speed and Power Battalion.
Now a Hinesville resident, Henry enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and served in the Navy during World War II. After that war, he joined the Army and saw tours in Korea and Vietnam.
It was a shrapnel wound in his leg, suffered “in the boondocks” of Korea in September 1950 that earned Henry his long-delayed Purple Heart.
After a firefight, Henry and other soldiers were cut off and running out of ammunition. “The guys all asked, ‘What are we going to do now?’
“I told them we were going to get in those trucks and get the hell out of here,” Henry said.
The difficulty was that Henry and some of the other soldiers were wounded and they had to cross open ground.
“I crawled around like a three-legged dog and pulled myself across.”
“Don’t believe what you see on TV. On TV and in movies, guys get shot in the leg and keep on moving,” he said. “Well, when you get shot in the leg, it doesn’t work like that.”
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