45 Years Later, Solon Veteran Gets Purple Heart

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

SOLON, Iowa — 45 years after being wounded while serving in the Vietnam War, a Solon veteran has been honored with a Purple Heart.

Ronald “Steve” Durr served in Vietnam as a member of the Air Force in 1968 and 1969. He now lives in Solon, where a small ceremony was held at his home Friday morning to celebrate the honor.

“It’s an honor,” Durr said. “It’s special to be with my family.”

Although he received a certificate, Durr never actually received the medal. Several weeks ago, someone contacted Congressman Dave Loebsack’s office, who helped expedite the process, which ultimately ended in Loebsack awarding the medal to Durr Friday morning.

“It’s nice to see him so happy,” said Dave Durr, Steve’s son.

Durr was joined by his wife, two sons and grandchildren for the ceremony, which took place in his kitchen. The 68-year-old has been battling cancer for the last year, making the award ceremony a bit more special for the tight-knit family.

“Their love will heal me,” Durr said with a smile.

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