Vietnam War veteran receives Purple Heart after nearly 50 years

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Charles “Chuck” W. Baurhenn was wounded in Vietnam on Aug. 19, 1969, and later discharged, but did not receive a Purple Heart he earned. Nearly 50 years later, Col. Jeffrey D. Witt, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presented the Purple Heart to Baurhenn and Alex Aprile, Constituent Resources Coordinator for Congressman Paul Mitchell, presented Baurhenn with a Vietnam Veteran lapel pin and certificate. (VFW photograph)

Col. Jeffrey D. Witt, the chief of staff for U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presented a Purple Heart to Charles “Chuck” W. Baurhenn on Friday, May 17, 2019, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7573 in New Baltimore, Mich.

Baurhenn was wounded in Vietnam on Aug. 19, 1969, and hospitalized in Japan. He was later sent to Oakland, Calif. where he was honorably discharged from the Army.

Baurhenn didn’t return to his unit and, due to a mix-up with his discharge paperwork, he never received the Purple Heart he earned. With the help of Congressman Paul Mitchell, Baurhenn received his Purple Heart after nearly 50 years.

Many friends, family and veterans were in attendance at the VFW Purple Heart Ceremony, including Jerry Gorski, VFW Big Ten Conference Chairman and John Dupray, the mayor of New Baltimore.

Alex Aprile, Constituent Resources Coordinator for Congressman Paul Mitchell, presented Baurhenn with a Vietnam War veteran lapel pin and certificate.