- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A Korean War veteran from Wisconsin finally has received his Purple Heart, nearly 65 years after he was wounded.

Ray Anderson, 83, of French Island, received the Purple Heart recognizing his wounds at a ceremony Friday at the La Crosse Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1530.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind presented the medal to Anderson, along with the National Defense Service Medal, Cold War Recognition Certificate and a letter of appreciation from the South Korean government.

“It was a rough time over there,” Anderson said of his war experience. “I turned 18 while I was in a foxhole.”

Anderson’s son, James, had contacted Kind’s office a couple of months ago, the La Crosse Tribune (https://bit.ly/1SFmZKB ) reported. Kind’s staffers learned a clerical error had prevented the elder Anderson from receiving his recognition.

Ray Anderson enlisted in the Army at 17 on Sept. 16, 1949, and spent just over a year in South Korea before he was injured when his jeep struck a land mine Feb. 7, 1951. The explosion left shrapnel in his head and neck. He was honorably discharged in 1952.

James Anderson said his father is “a pretty humble and quiet guy.” But when the son learned his father had never received the awards he was due, the younger Anderson decided to do something about it.

“It may be a little late in coming, but it’s no less worthy,” Kind said as he handed Ray Anderson his medal.

Ray Anderson, a lifetime VFW member, appeared a bit overwhelmed by the attention but was grateful for Kind’s work on his behalf.

“It’s one of those wars where we didn’t talk about it much,” Anderson said. “It’s sure nice that they are recognizing it now.”


Information from: La Crosse Tribune, https://www.lacrossetribune.com



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