Local Hero's Purple Heart

9 years 3 months 3 weeks ago May 31, 2007 May 31, 2007 Thursday, May 31 2007 Thursday, May 31, 2007 1:41:06 PM CDT in News

On April 1, 1970 Dennis Mills was on a recon patrol in Vietnam when he was suddenly airborne.

"We hit a land mine. I was wounded in both legs, the left arm and in the back," Mills said.

After he was wounded, Mills never got his Purple Heart.

"Well, after I got out I never gave it a thought about getting it. And that never bothered me," Mills said.

But his family thought he deserved the recognition and sent a letter to the Marine Corps asking for his medal. Shortly afterwards, Rep. Kenny Hulshof notified Mills that he would get his Purple Heart on Memorial Day.

"It means a lot. I know he's wanted it for a long time. He's deserved it for a long time. We've had many discussions about why he didn't have it before and why he's getting it now, and I'm very proud of him for serving us," Tim Mills, Dennis' son, said.

"I couldn't be prouder, really. But I've always been proud of him," Richard Mills, Dennis' brother, said.

And while Mills wants this day to be about the fallen, this Memorial Day is about him - an honor for a local hero.

More than 300 people attended the ceremony, which was the largest crowd in the event's history.

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