Solon veteran receives Purple Heart after 45 year wait - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Solon veteran receives Purple Heart after 45 year wait

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With his Air Force veteran hat on, there's no doubt Steve Durr is proud to be a Vietnam War vet.

"I know there was a lot of people that didn't think much of the vets back in those days," said Durr, who lives in Solon. "I never had any experience that way."

 But Durr has been waiting for recognition for 45 years. In April 1969, he was injured and earned a purple heart.

"I was lucky enough to get shot but it was just a flesh wound basically," said Durr. "A lot of guys had it a lot worse than I did."

He never received his medal. And now, decades after fighting for our country, he's fighting for his life. Durr has cancer, has had a brain tumor and spends a lot of time at the VA Hospital in Iowa City.

"It's bad enough having this disease, but it's afforded me the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people," said Durr.

Durr's friends and family started fighting for him and the process of getting Durr his medal was expedited.

Friday Congressman Dave Loebsack presented Durr with his medal in front of his family.

"It's a big deal," said Loebsack. "There aren't a lot of purple hearts."

Durr says the medal will stay in family, passing down from generation to generation.

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