Vet Honored with Purple Heart/Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster after 60 Years
ST. LOUIS – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today hosted a Purple Heart ceremony honoring Korean War veteran Reverend Leo Hardin, who was awarded a long-overdue Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, along with three additional awards for his military service.
“We owe the veterans who have sacrificed for our country an unknowable debt of gratitude,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and daughter of a World War II veteran. “One of the best parts of my job is helping honor those sacrifices and making sure we’re keeping our promises to our veterans long after they return from the battlefield.”
Rev. Hardin, a veteran of the 2nd Infantry Division, served in Japan in the late 1940s as well as in Korea from 1950-1953. During his front line service, Private First Class Hardin suffered second-degree frostbite due to the harsh Korean winter and shrapnel wounds to his right leg.
For his service in Korea, he was authorized a Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster—signifying two Purple Hearts—as well as the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. Unfortunately, Rev. Hardin never received these awards. After McCaskill’s office submitted the necessary documentation, the U.S. Army confirmed they would issue Rev. Hardin’s long-delayed awards.
The awards were presented by Brigadier General James M. Robinson, Assistant Adjutant General-Army of the Missouri Army National Guard.
This is McCaskill’s fourth Purple Heart Ceremony for a Missouri veteran in the past twelve months. She recently helped secure Purple Hearts for Vietnam veteran Patrick Howe, Korean war veteran Dencil Francis, and Vietnam veteran Walter Sitzwohl.