Collins veteran receives U.S. Army medals after 60 years | News
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- Korean War Veteran and Covington County
resident, Owen Girley never received his recognition for the time he served in
the United States Army.
"When I was discharged,
they were pushing re-enlistment, and so they told me, I asked about the medals,
they told me that if I re-enlisted I would get my heart, my Purple Heart, and I
came home, I didn't re-enlist, I stayed at home, so I didn't get my heart,
that's been sixty years ago," said Owen.
After being discharged
from the U.S. Army in 1952, Owen never imagined of receiving his medal, but
thanks to another Vietnam Veteran and roommate Bruce Burt, Owen finally
received his Purple Heart January 25.
"It means a lot because
it's something I treasure, will treasure for the rest of my life, and it's
something I can look at and say well I was there," said Owen.
According to Owen, While
in Korea, in the 1st Calvary Division in 1951, he was treated for shell shock
and had a medal removed from his face after he was wounded by a mortar shell. Sixty
years later, not only did Owen receive The Purple Heart, but he also received
the Army of Occupation medal, National Defense Service medal, Korean Service
Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and the United Nation Service Medal.
"I am proudest of the
Combat Infantryman Badge that was given to infantry man who had been in combat,"
said Owen. "When you've got one of those, you've earned it. I'm going to keep
them and when I'm buried I'm going to tell the people to bury them with me."
Owen is a resident of the
Mississippi State Veterans Home in Collins.
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