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Army veteran awarded Purple Heart 45 years after injury

A North Carolina veteran has been awarded a Purple Heart 45 years after he was wounded in Vietnam.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina, presented Dockie Brendle his third Purple Heart during a special afternoon ceremony at the Charles George VA Medical Center.

As a U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class fighting in Vietnam on June 5, 1968, Brendle had been making his way to a .50-caliber machine gun he was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade. He returned home fully disabled from wounds to his head and chest, as well as two previous injuries.

The now 68-year-old Bryson City resident was supposed to have received his third Purple Heart award shortly thereafter, but the Army misplaced his paperwork.

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