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Fulton Marine vet to receive Purple Hearts 44 years overdue

Fulton Marine vet to receive Purple Hearts 44 years overdue

November 8th, 2012 in News

Dennis Byler stands by the Marine Bulldog that guards his driveway off Lake View Drive. The Marine veteran will receive two Purple Hearts he earned was never given during his tour in Vietnam 44 years ago.

Photo by Dean Asher

When Dennis Byler was wounded for the third time 9 1/2 months into his tour of Vietnam - this time from grenade shrapnel during Operation Swift - the Marine Corporal was sent to Japan to serve the remainder of his 13-month service overseas.

But when the Vietnam veteran received his discharge papers June 28, 1968, only his first Purple Heart was listed.

"I told them "that's a mistake, I'm supposed to have three,' and they told me if I wanted to stay for a week they'd get it straightened out or they would forward it to me, and they never did forward it," said Byler.

Now after 44 years of trying, Byler will receive his other two medals in a ceremony featuring Mayor LeRoy Benton 6 p.m. Veterans Day, Nov. 12, at the Fulton VFW.

Byler said he had written the Marine Corps three to five times over the years to no avail, and it wasn't until Fulton VFW post commander Sonny Sparks intervened that Byler had success.