Tampa Vietnam Veteran receives medal after 42 years - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Vietnam Veteran receives medal after 42 years

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

After more than four decades, a Vietnam War veteran is finally honored with the Silver Star Medal for the valor he displayed when his platoon's outpost was overrun by Viet Cong.

Sgt. Ralph Morgan was an Army Special Forces radio operator who, according to members in his platoon, "turned Rambo-like" and saved them when they came under heavy rocket and mortar fire.

Sgt. Morgan's actions were worthy of the Silver Star medal, which is the military's third highest decoration for valor, awarded specifically for gallantry in action against an enemy.  But when Sgt. Morgan came home from the war, his paperwork for the medal was lost.  He couldn't get anyone in the Department of Army to help him.

"Over the years on several occasions I attempted to contact the Department of the Army.  They told me the records were destroyed.  Not until Senator Bill Nelson took the time to help me, he and his staff went through a lot to help me" said Sgt. Morgan.

Forty-two years later, with the assistance of Senator Nelson, Sgt. Morgan was awarded the Silver Star Medal at a special ceremony at the USO located at Tampa International Airport.  Sgt. Morgan accepted the award in honor of the fallen soldiers who served along side with him in Vietnam.

"There were so many good men and women who lost their lives over there and didn't receive an award.  If I could, I would like to share this with their families because they deserve it too."

 

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