Eastern Iowa soldier honored for service in wars nearly 50 years apart
Written by Justin Andrews, Multimedia Reporter - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
A longtime Iowa soldier was honored for his service, which spanned nearly five decades.
Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Randle served in the Army, Air Force and Iowa Army National Guard.
Lt. Col. Randle was presented for his service in two wars by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
Senator Harkin awarded Randle with three medals: the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom , Air Medal and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War.
"I've always wanted to be a soldier," said Lt. Col. Randle. "It's great to be recognized, finally for the work that I've done in both Vietnam and Iraq."
Randle joined the Army in 1967 when he was about 18-years-old and had only been out of high school for three weeks.
He joined the Armed Forces because he wanted to be a part of the military organization and the conflicts that could hit the U.S.
Randle went to basic training in Louisiana, then deployed to Vietnam in September 1968.
While in Vietnam he served as a helicopter pilot, eventually earning him 41 Air Medals. He was discharged from the Army in 1971. Just four years later, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Air Force ROTC, and then discharged from the Air Force in 1993. Randle joined the Iowa Army National Guard as a Captain in 2002. Only four months later, he was deployed in Iraq.
"For me, it's an honor and a privilege to be able to do this," said Senator Harkin. "I just feel as a public servant myself, as a senator that I ought to be here to let the recipients know how much we honor them."
An honor Randle says is humbling, but serves to represent all the men and women on the front lines that serve their country.
Randle retired from the Iowa Army National Guard in 2009.
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