Vietnam vet from Marble Hill receives Purple Heart nearly 40 years late

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From the Southeast Missourian newspaper 11/23/2008

“MARBLE HILL, Mo. — Jack Faries finally received a Purple Heart on Saturday, nearly 40 years after his service in the Vietnam War.

Many family members attended the ceremony at Community Church in Marble Hill.

“Today means a lot,” Faries said.

He also received the Vietnam Service Medal with Three Bronze Service Stars, the Meritorious Unit Commendation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm.

Faries said he was ambushed on a mountain pass Aug. 12, 1969, his 42nd day in Vietnam. “I was a truck driver for a five-ton tanker,” he said. “We were hauling jet fuel from a seaport to an airport.”

A grenade blew up under the seat of his truck.

The result was two four-inch wounds on the back of his legs. While not life-threatening, the wounds healed slowly because of infection. They haven’t bothered him since.

Faries felt disappointed during his recovery in a military hospital at Cameron Bay, Vietnam, because he didn’t receive a Purple Heart.

“Others who got wounded in different battles got their Purple Hearts the next day,” he said.

Faries was sent to Japan for convalescence for a few weeks, then went back to Vietnam where he was stationed in Long Bien. At first he was a little shaky, but “you kind of get used to it,” he said.

Faries started actively pursuing his Purple Heart six years ago.

“My son insisted,” he said.

Wayne Faries said he encouraged his father to apply for the Purple Heart because as time passed by he began to understand the significance of the reward his father had never received.

“It became important to me that Dad got his rewards,” Wayne Faries said. “When I was a kid I knew Dad had been wounded, but it was not something we talked about.”

Jack Faries said the chase after his records began at U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s office and expanded to include VFW Post 5900, the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Mo., and the St. Louis Records Center. “

Click Here to read article.

Thank You Mr. Faries for your service to your country and Thank You to Representative Emerson, the VA and VFW Post 5900 for helping Mr. Faries get his purple heart.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I

Marble Hill

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