Columbus Man Receives Purple Heart: 40 Years Late


COLUMBUS, OH (wosu) - Joseph D Thomas is a father and grandfather who lives in Clintonville. But 40 years ago Thomas was fighting in Vietnam. He was wounded there on June 10th, 1970. He came home but never received the honors he was entitled to. That changed Thursday at the Columbus office of Senator Sherrod Brown.

40 years ago, U.S. Army specialist Joseph Thomas was on a hillside somewhere in Vietnam. He cannot recall precisely where; but he does remember the firefight.

"We were attacked," Thomas says. "Company headquarters down below, we could see, was being attacked and all of a sudden there was fire coming up the mountain. Of course we returned the fire. A fellow over to the right of me who I didn't know was killed and the other fellow was actually in the bunker operating the machine gun was injured pretty badly. I was lucky; I escaped with only a minor injury."

Two months later, Thomas was back in the United States; reunited with his family. Later he'd return to school to work on a Master's Degree. He put his Vietnam experiences behind him. He says he forgot about the honors he was entitled to.

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Columbus Man Receives Purple Heart: 40 Years Late »