Bowling Green Veteran Receives Purple Heart--44 Years After War Wound

Aug 29, 2013

Rep. Brett Guthrie awards Eddie Miller his Purple Heart Thursday in Bowling Green. Also pictures is Mr. Miller's wife.
Credit Mark Lord, Rep. Guthrie's Office

It took over four decades for a Bowling Green Vietnam veteran to receive his Purple Heart, but Eddie Miller says it was worth the wait.

Miller was wounded in Vietnam in 1969, but never received a Purple Heart because his military records were lost. The 66-year-old Miller says a friend recently encouraged him to contact Congressman Brett Guthrie's office, which intervened on Miller's behalf and got the necessary paperwork through the Defense Department.

Miller and several family members were on hand Thursday when Rep. Guthrie presented the Vietnam veteran with his Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart is a combat decoration that is awarded to men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded in times of war.

Asked to describe the incident 44 years ago that led to his award, Miller said his base camp came under rocket attack.

“We were running and scrambling, and I felt pain,” he said.

Miller joked with reporters that he became "jealous" when he saw other veterans with their Purple Hearts, and decided it was time he received recognition for his service.

Miller is a graduate of Bowling Green High School who attended WKU and took part in the school's ROTC program for two years before leaving for Vietnam.