AR20130021519

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 17 July 2014

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20130021519

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests correction of his record to show he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received in combat in Vietnam.

2. The applicant states in November 1968 he received the Purple Heart during his tour of duty in Saigon, Vietnam. He contends that he was medically evacuated to Camp Zama, Japan for surgery and later lost his Purple Heart. There is no record of the award.

3. The applicant provides no additional evidence.

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title 10, U.S. Code, section 1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. The applicant was inducted into the Army of the United States on
13 December 1967. He held military occupational specialty (MOS) 11B (Light Weapons Infantryman).

3. His record contains a DAForm20 (Enlisted Qualification Record) that shows in:

* item31 (Foreign Service) he served in Vietnam from 27 May 1968 to
11 December 1968
* item 38 (Record of Assignments) – he was assigned to the:

* Medical Hold Detachment, U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Zama, from
5 to 10 December 1968
* Medical Hold Company, Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, from 11 December 1968 to 27 February 1969

* item40 (Wounds) no entry
* item41 (Awards and Decorations) no PurpleHeart

4. The applicant underwent a separation physical on 29 September 1969. He indicated “Yes” to item 31 (Have you had, or have you been advised to have any operations?) of his Standard Form 89 (Report of Medical History). In the remarks section the applicant stated, “I got hurt in Vietnam my ankle have [sic] a screw in it.”

5. The examining medical official reported in item 39 (Physician’s Summary and Elaboration of all Pertinent Data) that the applicant had a fractured right medial malleolus – internal fixation (ankle fracture) in November 1968 which existed prior to service (EPTS).

6. He was honorably released from active duty on 10 December 1969. He completed 1 year, 11months, and 20 days of total active service.

7. A review of the Adjutant General’s Office Casualty Division’s Vietnam Casualty Listing does not show the applicant’s name as a casualty.

8. A review of the Awards and Decorations Computer-Assisted Retrieval System (ADCARS), an index of general orders issued during the Vietnam era between 1965 and 1973 maintained by the U.S.Army Human Resources Command Military Awards Branch, failed to reveal any orders for the PurpleHeart pertaining to the applicant.

9. Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards) prescribes the Army’s awards policy. Paragraph 2-8 contains the regulatory guidance pertaining to award of the Purple Heart. It states that in order to support award of the Purple Heart there must be evidence that the wound for which the award is being made was received as a result of enemy action, that the wound required treatment by medical personnel, and a record of this medical treatment must have been made a matter of official record.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. The evidence of record does not show and the applicant has not provided sufficient documentary evidence showing he received wounds as a result of hostile action that would have warranted award of the Purple Heart.

2. The record shows that as part of his separation physical the applicant indicated that he got hurt in Vietnam and he had a screw in his ankle. However, the medical physician indicated that this injury existed prior to service; therefore, not the result of combat. In the absence of such evidence, there is an insufficient evidentiary basis for showing he was awarded the Purple Heart or for adding the Purple Heart to his DD Form 214.

BOARD VOTE:

________ ________ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

____X____ ___X_____ ____X____ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined that the overall merits of this case

are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

____________X___________
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20130021519

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20130021519

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