Army veteran finally gets his medals


Half a century ago, U.S. Army veteran Ralph Denton Sr. of Street was badly wounded in Korea and was awarded a Purple Heart. He served in Vietnam, but Denton, now 74, never got all of his medals.

That was rectified Tuesday, when Denton and his wife, Nancy, traveled to Westminster where Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-6th, who often helps veterans get lost medals, presented him with four medals he earned in Vietnam, but had never received.

While in Vietnam, where his unit provided support to a Marine force, Denton earned:

The Army Commendation Medal. Deborah Burrell, who does the research who researches lost medals for Bartlett, told Denton this medal "is engraved with your name on the back. In case anyone steals it, they know who it belongs to."

The Good Conduct Medal and bronze clasp with five loops, for earning the award five times.

The National Defense Service Medal and Bronze Star attachment, presented for serving in the Army before the Vietnam conflict. He also earned the same award in Korea.

The Vietnam Service Medal and Bronze Star attachment (battle star), presented for his service in Vietnam.

Bartlett's office had previously helped Denton get one of his Korean War medals that he never received.

While serving in Korea, Denton earned the Korean Service Medal with six battle stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Defense Medal.

"I was hit by a burst of submachine gun fire while standing up in an Army truck in Korea," he said. "I had 13 holes in me from my heel to my groin."

Because of that injury, he spent three months in a hospital in Japan and earned a Purple Heart.

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