PASCO, Wash.-- A Vietnam Veteran in the Tri-Cities received a Purple Heart Tuesday. In a small ceremony, Congressman Doc Hastings gave the award to 64 year-old Willie Jones.
Jones grew up in Louisiana but moved to Pasco in the 1960s. He was drafted into the Army in 1967, then hit by shrapnel twice in 1968. He already has one Purple Heart for his first set of injuries. Tuesday's honor was for the second shrapnel wounds. Jones explains, "I was hit with another piece of shrapnel in my right hip, that chipped a bone. [I] lost a lot of blood." For the second Purple Heart, there's an Oak Leaf on it.
Technically Jones says he also has a third Purple Heart from when his vehicle hit a mine, but he never got official paper work while in Vietnam, which isn't uncommon for Vietnam Vets. "I guess they disregarded that. So that's what I'm trying to fight for now, all these years, because I still have a back problem from that," says Jones. Jones is currently working with Congressman Hastings office to get the paperwork on that.