SGT Spink gets his Silver Star 44 years after he earns it
Good on you SGT Spink, and the people who made this happen....
A Vietnam War veteran from Plainfield on Wednesday received a Silver Star — 44 years overdue.
U.S. Army Sgt. Frank Spink, 66, wore an American flag shirt with the right sleeve hanging loosely over the spot where his arm, which was shredded when a rocket hit his bunker, was amputated.
Spink was the center of attention at a ceremony at Stout Field on Indianapolis’ Southside, where he accepted the Army’s third-highest award for heroism for his gallantry during a North Vietnamese attack on his base.
It was a medal presentation that almost never happened.
It’s unclear why Spink had not received the honor — or hadn’t even been informed of it until earlier this year. Somewhere along the way, there was a bureaucratic mix-up. A serial number was copied incorrectly. Paperwork was lost or misplaced.
“This is a great day, but it’s a shame that it took 44 years for it to happen,” said U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., who helped the veteran receive his medal.
I tried without any success to get a hold of the language for the award because this article didn't make it altogether clear, but I did find another article that has some of it...
U.S. Army Sgt. Frank Spink was pulling overnight guard duty when he heard movement in the South Vietnamese jungle. He listened, then realized enemy soldiers were approaching the U.S. Special Forces camp in Dak Pek, a village in Kontum province.
Spink quickly notified his platoon leader, rousted fellow soldiers and, in the darkness, opened fire on North Vietnamese troops. Aerial gun support helped to push back attackers.
During the fight that early June morning nearly 44 years ago, an enemy rocket exploded on Spink's bunker. He was left with a mangled right arm that ultimately was amputated.
Spink's action helped his unit repel the enemy and avoid heavier losses, said his platoon leader, Lt. John McHenry, now retired.