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Vietnam Veteran Waits 45 Years; To Receive Purple Heart Monday

Ronald Wilke was wounded in 1969; Crapo to present honors

Boise  - A Boise Vietnam veteran has waited 45 years for the rightful honors he will receive on Monday when Idaho Senator Mike Crapo presents him with the Purple Heart for bravery in service and six other military awards.  Ronald Wilke is an Army veteran who was wounded during an ambush attack shortly after he was stationed  in Vietnam in 1969.  He was hospitalized for more than a month while recovering from his injuries.

Joining Wilke during Monday's event at the Idaho State Veterans Home is fellow veteran Russell Waugh.  Waugh will speak about veterans services and the benefits of working with Congressional staff, veterans support staff and the Veterans Administration to achieve a successful outcome when there is a disagreement over assigned benefits. 

Crapo has launched a statewide initiative to survey veterans on their care in Idaho.  He supported recent legislation to improve VA care and allow veterans in rural areas to seek private medical care if they cannot easily access a VA medical facility.