Oregon Navy Veteran Awarded Purple Heart

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ronald H. Bespflug, a Vietnam era Navy veteran and Oregon native was finally awarded his Purple Heart during his memorial ceremony at Willamette National Cometary on Monday.

Mr. Bespgluf was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery during the Vietnam conflict.  He was wounded while on a river patrol in 1968.

His wife, Jo Simpson, discovered the paperwork for his award 20 years ago.  And when asked about it, her husband said he never received it.

That’s when Jo began the work to get it for him.

“It took me 20 years and a lot of letter writing.  It was just a matter of trying to persevere,” Simpson said.

It’s not unusual for vets to ignore these awards.  But many counselors say it’s important to receive and accept these recognitions to be able to move on after a war.

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