Local veteran receives Purple Heart after 44 years

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Mike Kirkpatrick earned a Purple Heart in the summer of 1968, but he finally received the award on Saturday at the Bloomington City Hall.

"I'm so thankful and so amazed," said Kirkpatrick, a Vietnam veteran.

Forty-four years ago, Kirkpatrick was on a patrol mission when his squad was hit by an enemy explosive. Although, Kirkpatrick had been wounded he quickly began assisting his fellow Marines.

"I was just doing my duty," he recalls. "We took care of each other."

It was those fellow servicemen that helped to make Saturday's ceremony possible.

"I couldn't believe he hadn't received the Purple Heart," said fellow veteran Ron Oakes. "So, we made sure the letters were written. This is way overdue."

Family, friends, and former service members watched as Senator Amy Klobuchar pinned the award on to Kirkpatrick.

"I'm not a hero," he said. "The real heroes are the ones who are buried in hometown cemeteries. They sacrificed it all."


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