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Purple Heart awarded 47 years late

Chris Caya

As Bob Franz recalls, "The year 1966 didn't start out too well for me." As a new soldier in Vietnam, Franz was wounded on two separate occasions in the first four months of 1966. It took another 47 years before he was officially awarded the Purple Heart he deserved.

At a ceremony Tuesday at Erie County Hall, Congressman Brian Higgins and County Clerk Chris Jacobs were among the dignitaries present as Franz received his second Purple Heart.

The disservice came to a light during a chance meeting at the Newell-Faulkner American Legion Post in Eden where the clerk's office was holding a veteran's outreach event.

While discussing his service and injuries, Franz told an official from Jacobs' office that he had never received a second Purple Heart. That information was quickly passed from Jacobs to Higgins.

On Tuesday, in front of family and Legion colleagues, the situation was officially rectified.