Marine Veteran and Lifelong Hoosier Steve Denman Never Received Medals for Service in Vietnam
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today presented Marine veteran and lifelong Hoosier Steve Denman with the Purple Heart and other medals he earned but never received for his service in the Vietnam War.
“We owe our freedom to Hoosiers like Steve, who served his country with bravery,” said Walorski, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “For Steve to finally get the medals he earned is a way to thank him for his service and honor all our veterans.”
The medals Walorski presented include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device. Walorski’s office obtained the medals for Denman, a resident of Osceola, after he contacted the office for help.
Steve was drafted into the Army in May of 1968 but decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Marine. That same day, he was flown to San Diego for 10 weeks of training, including advanced infantry weapons training. He was sent to his base in Quanq Tri Province in Vietnam. While manning a defensive position, he sustained a fragmentation wound to the right shoulder from a hostile rocket.
When he returned home, he was welcomed with a large banner hung over the front porch and greeted by his family, including his wife Betty Jean and their one-year-old son Shane. Steve’s wife, son, and grandson, as well as other family members, will join him for the medal presentation.
A Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the U.S. armed forces who was wounded, killed, or has died after being wounded. The medal is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military, dating back to the later years of the Revolutionary War. It was originally designed as the Badge of Military Merit.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.