Vietnam veteran gets belated honor

CLEVELAND (AP) -- It was a double treat for a Vietnam veteran who belatedly received his Purple Heart and got to renew ties with the Navy medic who treated his combat wounds.
Gary Brooks, 58, of suburban Olmsted Township, a retired General Motors Corp. employee, received the medal Saturday at the Marine Corps Reserve center in nearby Brook Park.
He also got the chance to thank Michael Morris, 63, of Columbus, a retired electrical engineer who served as a Navy corpsman with Brook's Marine unit in Vietnam 39 years ago.
"I just thank God we made it home, and he made sure I made it home," Brooks said.
"I remember him patching me up."
They saw each other for the first time in nearly 40 years when Morris drove from Columbus for the presentation of the Purple Heart to Brooks.
Their platoon was ambushed July 19, 1965, and Brooks took shrapnel in one hand.
After that, and on many days just like it, "we had to go about our business," Morris said, and there wasn't always time for paperwork. The paperwork and medal caught up with Brooks because Morris and two other Marines were able to corroborate the events.