Vietnam veteran in Jenks awarded Army Commendation medal 50 years overdue

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Vietnam veteran in Jenks awarded Army Commendation medal 50 years overdue

It's something John Marler has been waiting 50 years for.

"The Army Commendation Medal is to specialist fourth grade Johnny Marler, Company D, Second Battalion, 27th Infantry," US Senator Jim Inhofe read off a commendation for Marler.

Five decades ago, almost to the day, on the other side of the globe, Marler found himself in the fight of his life.

"Right off the bat, when the firefight happened, folks went down. This guy went in and started pulling them out in the midst of the battle," said Chris Medrano with the Marine Corps League.

He went above and beyond the call of duty and was given recognition when he came back stateside, but the actual hardware never showed up.

"We looked for it over and over, it just never got through orders. I was told that it was approved, but I couldn't get it," said Marler.

And that's how it was for 50 years, until today.

"That's a long time to wait for proper recognition, I think. Yet this happens quite often. Some people just forget about the fact that they are entitled. He got his recognition but not the certificate. It's a wonderful thing to happen, long overdue," said Inhofe.

Marler was also presented with a pin commemorating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, an honor bestowed upon all Vietnam vets at Grace Living Center.

"This has a dual opportunity to not only recognize what everyone has done as Vietnam veterans 50 years later but also correct an injustice where we didn't recognize and welcome them home properly," said Medrano.

A thank you to them and to the heroic soldier just down the hall, finally holding his medal after 50 years of waiting.