Rep. Johnson Presents Overdue Purple Heart to Vietnam Veteran

Press Release

By:  Hank Johnson, Jr.
Date: March 28, 2013
Location: Lithonia, GA

Today, Congressman Hank Johnson presented DeKalb County resident Staff Sgt. Clarence Bostwick with the Purple Heart Medal for wounds he received in action in Vietnam in 1968.

The ceremony was held at the Lou Walker Senior Center in south DeKalb.

Due to confusion about his records, Staff Sgt. Bostwick was not properly recognized by the Army until 2012. He was discharged in 1970 and retired from the Reserves in 1994.

"Staff Sgt. Bostwick is the very epitome of a hero and a patriot, and I am proud to present him with the Purple Heart Medal," said Rep. Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "I cannot think of a more deserving veteran for this honorable award."

Bostwick was wounded as part of the 39th engineer battalion in Vietnam. While on guard duty in 1968, his unit came under attack and he suffered shrapnel wounds from an enemy grenade. He was hospitalized briefly, and returned to duty.

Staff Sgt. Bostwick's records were corrected in 2012, and he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Vietnam Service Medal.

"It's been a long journey, but worth the wait," said Bostwick. "Although it's been more than 45 years since my battle injuries, it is an honor to now be recognized by the U.S. Army and my Congressman Hank Johnson."

The Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington in 1782 during the Revolutionary War and is awarded to any soldier who is wounded or killed in the line of duty.