Parkston vet believed to have most Purple Hearts received by South DakotanJerry Triebwasser, a Vietnam veteran, has 10 medals in possession, four of which are Purple Hearts.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
Does Jerry Triebwasser have the most Purple Hearts ever awarded to a
Multiple tipsters believe so and have said as much to The Daily
Republic, but the newspaper was unable to confirm the claim prior to
publication of this story.
Triebwasser, a Vietnam veteran, has 10 medals in possession, four of
which are Purple Hearts. Officially, though, it is unclear whether he
received four Purple Heart commendations or two. Paperwork held by
state government officials and Triebwasser indicates he has a Purple
Heart with one oak leaf cluster, meaning he received two Purple
Hearts. Paperwork on the other two is missing.
Triebwasser himself is unclear on the technicalities. While dealing
with the aftermath of the war, he said, he stuck his medals in a
closet and never gave them much thought.
To receive a Purple Heart, a soldier must be hospitalized for the
The Daily Republic tried to obtain clarification through the U.S.
National Archives but did not receive it prior to this report.
Following is a listing of Triebwasser’s other medals and attachments.
- Army Commendation Medal: Awarded for heroism and meritorious service
and usually awarded to enlisted soldiers and junior officers after a
- Army Good Conduct Medal: Awarded to enlisted personnel who complete
three consecutive years of honorable and faithful service.
- Vietnam Service Medal: Awarded to service members who spent more
than 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days in Vietnam between
Nov. 15, 1961, and March 28, 1973.
- Three Bronze Star Medals: The fourth-highest medal an enlisted
soldier can receive for bravery, heroism or meritorious service.
- Valor or “V” Device: Triebwasser received a “V” for valor, which was
attached to his Bronze Star Medal. The Valor Device is a one-time only
decoration for any medal.
- Several Bronze Star Devices: These indicate the soldier has
participated in military campaigns or multiple bestowals of the same
award. In Triebwasser’s case, the stars are on his Vietnam Service