Purple Heart presentation ceremony 46 years overdue for Waveland - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Purple Heart presentation ceremony 46 years overdue for Waveland man

Kenneth Duncan stands next to Heidi after receiving his Purple Heart medal. Kenneth Duncan stands next to Heidi after receiving his Purple Heart medal.
Duncan's family gather for a picture with Congressman Steven Palazzo and Waveland Mayor David Garcia. Duncan's family gather for a picture with Congressman Steven Palazzo and Waveland Mayor David Garcia.
Kenneth Duncan in uniform. Kenneth Duncan in uniform.
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

A Waveland man was finally honored with an award he was supposed to receive 46 years ago Tuesday afternoon.

In 1968 Kenneth Duncan, who was a sergeant in the Army, was told he would get the Purple Heart, but after he got out of the Army he immediately joined the Merchant Marine and didn't follow up on getting the medal.

Those honoring him with the Purple Heart medal say the recognition has been long overdue.

The National Anthem begins a ceremony recognizing Kenneth Duncan for his service to our country while fighting in Vietnam. In 1968 the Army sergeant suffered a hit to the right leg by shrapnel during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.

"When you're hit, your adrenaline is pumping; you don't actually realize you've been hit. Somebody in the bunker had yelled out that somebody had been hit because the blood was running on the floor of the conex. And as we were checking each other than that was when I realized that I had been hit," Duncan recalled.

Duncan knew he would be eligible for the Purple Heart, but he says he never pursued receiving it until now.

"The main thing is we're here today to celebrate Sergeant Kenneth Duncan who served three tours in Vietnam back to back and that's unheard of. And he was also a door gunner in a huey and anybody can tell you a door gunner in a huey is one of your most dangerous positions in combat," Congressman Steven Palazzo said.

After hearing so many of his war stories over the years family members say they're proud to see Duncan get the recognition he deserves.

"It's great. It's a great feeling. I mean this is something that he earned before we were born. So it's kind of an honor to be able to watch him receive it," said Duncan's daughter Carissa Hartshorn.

"The things that he's done, the things that he's been through, I'm proud of him," said Duncan's daughter Shantell Duncan.

Duncan's acceptance of the Purple Heart is what he considers a capstone to his military career and an award for his greatest contribution to his country.

"This is a great country we live in and the price of freedom is a clique now, but the price of freedom is not cheap," Duncan said.

Duncan also received a Merchant Marine Vietnam Service medal as well.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Gulfport man gets 30 years for sexually abusing teenager

    Gulfport man gets 30 years for sexually abusing teenager

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:53 PM EST2018-02-23 18:53:26 GMT
    Michael Jordan, 48 of Gulfport, will spend the next 30 years in prison after sexually abusing a 15-year old family member. (Source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office)Michael Jordan, 48 of Gulfport, will spend the next 30 years in prison after sexually abusing a 15-year old family member. (Source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office)
    Michael Jordan, 48 of Gulfport, will spend the next 30 years in prison after sexually abusing a 15-year old family member. (Source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office)Michael Jordan, 48 of Gulfport, will spend the next 30 years in prison after sexually abusing a 15-year old family member. (Source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Office)

    A Gulfport man was sentenced to 30 years Friday for sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl. Michael Jordan, 48, was convicted on four counts of sexual battery for abusing a 15-year-old family member. 

    More >>

    A Gulfport man was sentenced to 30 years Friday for sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl. Michael Jordan, 48, was convicted on four counts of sexual battery for abusing a 15-year-old family member. 

    More >>
  • Police: Viral social media post is no threat to Biloxi

    Police: Viral social media post is no threat to Biloxi

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:53 PM EST2018-02-23 17:53:41 GMT
    Police say a viral social media post is not a threat to Biloxi High. (Source: Twitter)Police say a viral social media post is not a threat to Biloxi High. (Source: Twitter)

    A social media post threatening violence at a high school is sparking fear in people throughout the country, including right here on the Coast but police say the post has no connection to South Mississippi.

    More >>

    A social media post threatening violence at a high school is sparking fear in people throughout the country, including right here on the Coast but police say the post has no connection to South Mississippi.

    More >>
  • Robin Roberts receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    Robin Roberts receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    Friday, February 23 2018 11:59 AM EST2018-02-23 16:59:23 GMT
    Pass Christian native and host of Good Morning America Robin Roberts will receive the Lifetime Journalism award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. (Source: ABC)Pass Christian native and host of Good Morning America Robin Roberts will receive the Lifetime Journalism award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. (Source: ABC)
    Pass Christian native and host of Good Morning America Robin Roberts will receive the Lifetime Journalism award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. (Source: ABC)Pass Christian native and host of Good Morning America Robin Roberts will receive the Lifetime Journalism award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. (Source: ABC)

    South Mississippi's own Robin Roberts can add another accolade to her list of achievements. The co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.

    More >>

    South Mississippi's own Robin Roberts can add another accolade to her list of achievements. The co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police: father killed 5-year-old son, buried him in backyard

    Police: father killed 5-year-old son, buried him in backyard

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:09 AM EST2018-02-23 10:09:31 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:09 AM EST2018-02-23 10:09:31 GMT
    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard. (Source: WGCL/CNN)Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard. (Source: WGCL/CNN)

    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard.

    More >>

    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard.

    More >>
  • Teen missing from Kentucky since 2017 found 'confined' inside SC home, suspect arrested

    Teen missing from Kentucky since 2017 found 'confined' inside SC home, suspect arrested

    Friday, February 23 2018 2:31 PM EST2018-02-23 19:31:36 GMT

    A Kentucky teen who was taken from her home in December 2017 was found confined in a Saluda County bedroom and a 24-year-old man was arrested for her kidnapping. 

    More >>

    A Kentucky teen who was taken from her home in December 2017 was found confined in a Saluda County bedroom and a 24-year-old man was arrested for her kidnapping. 

    More >>
  • 'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    Friday, February 23 2018 3:05 AM EST2018-02-23 08:05:09 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:08 PM EST2018-02-23 20:08:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...

    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.

    More >>

    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly