Soldier Receives Purple Heart...47 Years Later

11:34 AM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - Bob Franz of Eden is a husband, father...grandfather, and war hero. Make that a war hero two times over, and now he's finally recognized for it.

He was 21 years old when he left Eden joined the Army and was sent to Vietnam.

Bob Franz: "The year of 1966 didn't start out too well for me."

That's a bit of an understatement. In March of that year, Franz was shot in the chest just three months after he arrived in Vietnam.

And for that Bob Franz received a Purple Heart.

Congressman Brian Higgins: "Despite the nearly fatal wound Mr. Franz returned to the war zone just two weeks later."

Then just two weeks after that, Franz was wounded again when a mortar exploded near him and he was hit in the right arm by shrapnel.

Congressman Brian Higgins: "He was airlifted by chopper to Saigon for emergency surgery. Weeks later he was again back on the battlefield."

Back on the battlefield, but never officially recognized for that second injury.

That is until Tuesday, nearly 47 years to the day of his second injury.

Despite his wounds, Bob Franz considers himself a lucky guy. Lucky because although he was wounded twice within his first four months in Vietnam, he made it back home alive.

Bob Franz: "You're a new guy, usually new guys don't last that long, if you can get through that, you can usually make the year."

He made it through his year "in country."

And Tuesday, nearly half a century after the year of 1966 that didn't start out too well for Bob Franz, it finally ended well with a congressman pinning a second purple heart to his uniform.

This one with an oak leaf cluster, signifying that Bob Franz was wounded twice in the service of his country.
















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