32 years later, soldier finally gets honors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2000

More than 32 years after then-Sgt.

Thursday, June 15, 2000

More than 32 years after then-Sgt. Tim Watts left the jungles of Vietnam, his government thanked him with a long overdue Bronze Star.

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U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Cordle presented Watts with the medal Wednesday at the Ironton City Center.

Watts served in the 28th Infantry 1st Bravo Company in the U.S. Army.

He became ill with hepatitis while serving and was hospitalized for an extended period of time in 1968 before he was able to be transported out of the war zone.

In late 1968, Watts was brought back to the United States after having served 11 months and 18 days fighting the war.

In addition to the Bronze Star, Watts also received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross.

Army mix-ups kept Watts from receiving his honors soon after his service ended.

"When he left Vietnam, he was brought out in such a rush that the paperwork was lost in the shuffle during that time," Cordle said. "We would just like to express regret of it taking so long to award him. It is definitely well-deserved."

Cordle also noted that Watts will be receiving several other awards in the near future.

Watts is a resident of the Ohio Furnace area. He is a West Virginia native.

He said he was glad to receive the medals, but also questioned the length of time it took to get the honors.

In addition to the medal presentation, a brief celebration of the U.S. Army’s 225th birthday was held. Watts was given the honor of cutting the first piece of cake.