Vietnam War vet to get new Purple Heart medalRAPID CITY (AP) — A Vietnam War veteran living in South Dakota is set to get a replacement military medal after someone broke into his home and stole his Purple Heart.
RAPID CITY (AP) — A Vietnam War veteran living in South Dakota is set to get a replacement military medal after someone broke into his home and stole his Purple Heart.
Charlie Running Hawk, 66, of Rapid City, has been offered a replacement medal by members of South Dakota’s Congressional delegation, The Rapid City Journal reported Thursday.
Running Hawk said he and his wife were away recently when their home was broken into and the suspect took his Purple Heart medal, $80 in change and some prescription pills.
A representative from U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson’s office said veterans can usually get lost or stolen medals replaced at least once. Joe Roberts, a staff assistant in the senator’s Rapid City office, said he expects a replacement to arrive in three to six weeks.
The senator isn’t the only person who came to Running Hawk’s aid.
Sandra Peterson of Sturgis offered a Purple Heart she was gifted two years ago as a symbolic replacement. While Running Hawk said he was particularly moved by Peterson’s gesture, he politely declined the offer.
“It wouldn’t be the same, but I thank that person and God bless her,” he said. “That was very, very nice.”
Like Running Hawk, Peterson’s husband served in Vietnam.
“The military has sacrificed so much, it just touches me that these men are willing to take these risks,” she said.