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Upton presents Purple Heart to Vietnam Veteran Philip Damico

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, on Sunday presented a Purple Heart Medal to U.S. Army Specialist Philip Damico of Benton Harbor, Mich.

Damico was drafted in 1967 and served in the Army in Vietnam until 1969 when he was injured by an explosive.

“It was such an honor to share this moment with a Patriot and a real American hero – Philip Damico, as well as several members of his family,” Upton said. “Specialist Damico served his country with distinction, risked his life to protect our freedoms, and did it with unflinching bravery. The Purple Heart Medal is such a small token of appreciation compared to everything he did to defend our way of life. We will forever be grateful to him and his family for their sacrifices.”

“I’m grateful for Fred taking the time to meet my family and me and present the Purple Heart Medal,” Damico said. “It was a special day for my wife, our kids and their spouses, and our grandkids. But it’s also important that we always remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home, as well as their families.”

The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy. Often described as the military’s oldest medal, George Washington created it in 1782. To mark the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, in 1932, the Purple Heart was revived by Presidential Executive Order.



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