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Kennedy To Issue Executive Order Making Soldiers in Vietnam Eligible for Purple Heart

Apr. 24, 1962 - U.S. soldiers wounded in the fighting in Vietnam will receive the Purple Heart. President Kennedy will issue within the next 48 hours an Executive order modifying regulations that now prevent award of the medal to men who have been wounded in fighting that is not officially recognized as a war. The Executive order would authorize the award of the decoration under conditions as those that exist in Vietnam. A sizable force of American military men is in South Vietnam, including helicopter personnel. They are aiding Vietnamese Army fighters in combating Communist guerrillas. President Kennedy received a Purple Heart after the motor torpedo boat he commanded in the southwest Pacific in World War II was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer.

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