Burr awards Vietnam veteran overdue medals

Posted by Renee Schoof on October 24, 2013 

Sen. Richard Burr awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and other medals during a ceremony in Winston-Salem today to Joseph Carter of Caswell County for his service and heroism during the Vietnam War.

Carter said that he received some of his medals when he was discharged from the Army, but not all of them, Burr’s staff said. Carter recalled that at the time he left the Army in May 1969 after two years of active duty, he was so eager to get home and move on that he wasn’t too concerned about the other awards. He went on to do electrical work for more than 30 years.

Carter said that the Purple Heart was awarded because of injuries he suffered when his unit of 15 came under mortar attack. He said all but one of the 15 were wounded, and that he waited from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m. that day for rescue.

Carter’s Bronze Star was given with a “V” device on the ribbon bar and suspension ribbon, signifying that the award was given for heroism in combat. Carter said doesn’t discuss the events that lead to the Bronze Star because they are too difficult to recount, Burr’s spokesman said in an e-mail after the ceremony.

Burr also awarded Carter a National Defense Service Medal, for honorable active service between Jan. 1, 1961 and Aug. 14, 1974, a good conduct medal for three years of “honorable and faithful service,” and a Vietnam Service Medal, which is awarded to all members of the armed forces who served in Vietnam and surrounding areas during the war.

In addition, Carter was given a Combat Infantryman Badge First Award, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign ribbon with device, an expert badge with rifle bar, and a sharpshooter badge and mortar bar.

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