Army veteran gets Purple Heart 66 years after injury

It took almost 66 years, but Joe Hutchinson finally got his Purple Heart.
In late 1950, the Army veteran was wounded by shrapnel from an artillery shell during battles in and around the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.
"But he continued to fight," U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham said in a release.
The belated recognition came Wednesday, thanks to the efforts George Nepereny, who lives near Hutchinson in the Florida Panhandle.

Nepereny learned that Hutchinson's records were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
The infamous fire destroyed as many as 18 million Army and Air Force personnel files.
But Nepereny got to work and helped Hutchinson sort out his military records.
Nepereny said that Hutchinson, now in his 80s, is a "real patriot."
Hutchinson said he's honored.
For his service, he received receive three battle stars and a Combat Infantry Badge. His unit was also awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
For more than six decades, Hutchinson went without the Purple Heart that he earned.
"Until today," Graham said Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

About the Author