After 50 Years, Veteran Finally Gets Vietnam Bronze Star Medal

November 11, 2017 07:31 AM

A local veteran was finally bestowed the Bronze Star Medal Award for his service 50 years after an oversight.

In 1966, Jim Baier was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin River Falls, when he was drafted to Vietnam. His artillery unit saw action firing big guns in support of infantry troops and at the Ho Chi Minh trail. 

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Baier said he feared for his life "every day."

"It was a different type of war," he said. 

He returned from the war in 1969. 

Recently, his local legion realized he should have been honored with the Bronze Star. The medal is given to U.S. Armed Forces members for heroic achievement or service in a combat zone.

They teamed up with Congressman Ron Kind's office to correct the oversight, and Baier finally was honored. The ceremony was held in front of family and friends this week in Elmwood, Wisconsin, to honor his achievement.  

"I was just fortunate enough that my commanding officer and first sergeant thought that I was a good enough soldier that I deserved the Bronze Star," he said. 

To hear more from Baier, click to watch an extended interview.

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Bill Lunn

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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