Army Sgt. Frank Spink has spent decades waiting for the recognition of his heroism during the Vietnam War, and earlier this week he got what he'd long been hoping for. Spink was presented with the Silver Star earlier this week, 44 years after her earned it, The Indianapolis Star reports.
Spink's heroics occurred early in the morning of June 13, 1968. He noticed North Vietnamese troops planning an ambush on a Special Forces camp and opened fire. In the ensuing battle, shrapnel tore into Spink's arm, which later had to be amputated as a result. His platoon leader credits his quick thinking with saving many American lives.
Officials are not sure why it has taken more than four decades for Spink to receive his Silver Star, but it is likely due to a misstep in the medal-giving process, something which Rep. Todd Rokita said is inexcusable.
"Sergeant Spink, all of us here today salute you for your service. And as Americans, we all express our sadness that you haven't received this honor until now," Rokita said during the ceremony, according to the newspaper.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military honor the United States Armed Forces can bestow behind the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.