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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell Visits with Local Hero in Recognition of Purple Heart Day

August 7, 2018
Press Release

ALLEN PARK, MI – In recognition of Purple Heart Day, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) met with former U.S. Army Private First Class Frank Puente of Allen Park who received the prestigious military honor after being wounded in service during the Vietnam War. After being contacted by Puente, Dingell’s office worked to secure the Purple Heart and ensure Puente’s contributions to our country were properly honored.

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PFC Puente was injured in May 1968 while serving in a battalion in Vietnam. He was shot in the arm and left leg and then carried over a mile to a helicopter by his fellow soldiers. While in a Saigon hospital, the bullet was cut out of his leg and taped to his chest as proof of his wound suffered in combat. PFC Puente received the proper papers for a Purple Heart, but did not receive the medal until 2018, years after his selfless service to our country.

“It was an honor to spend time with PFC Puente and recognize his service and sacrifice to our country,” said Dingell. “It is because of individuals like PFC Puente, who answer the call to serve with courage, valor and distinction, that we remain the land of the free and home of the brave. Today we thank him and all servicemembers on behalf of a grateful state and a grateful nation.”

Purple Heart Day is celebrated each year on August 7, to mark the day the medal was first awarded in 1782 by George Washington, whose likeness appears on the medal today. To date, approximately 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded for servicemembers killed or wounded as the result of enemy action.