Last Updated: July 1, 2011
HUDSON, Ohio - Severely injured during Vietnam, retired Army Sgt. David Hack of Hudson has been waiting 43 long years to get his Purple Heart award. On Thursday, the wait was over as he was finally honored.
Hack never received his his military medals after he was wounded on September 13, 1968 during combat.
The sergeant was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army. He was shot and suffered from shrapnel wounds.
That recovery took a year after numerous surgeries.
Friends and family always asked Hack why he never pursued getting his military service awards, especially the Purple Heart.
"It isn't what you do for yourself, it's what you do for others. That is what is important," said Hack.
Congressman Steven LaTourette was able to get the medals and Purple Heart Award for Hack through the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
A special red, white and blue celebration was put together Thursday to honor the 71-year-old.
He accepted the awards with humility saying, "I was taken away by it. Tremendous amount of pride. It was rather overwhelming and there was somewhat of a flashback."
After he was discharged from the hospital, the Army asked Hack to be a recruiter.
Hack then moved on to be a police officer in Hudson, Ohio while working for the Summit County Sheriff's Department. He finished his career as the police chief in Sebring, Ohio.
Army retired Sgt. David Hack and his wife now own U.S. Wings. U.S. Wings is a speciality shop in Hudson. They make military aviation gear and ship it all over the country. They also customize leather aviation jackets that have been worn in numerous movies, by movie and rock stars, and political dignitaries.