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St. George vet finally gets his Purple Heart

ST. GEORGE — Nearly 42 years after being wounded in the Vietnam war, a veteran has received his Purple Heart.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch helped present the medal to former Army Sgt. David Gardner on Feb. 13 at a St. George rehabilitation center.

Gardner, who's being treated at the center for a condition not associated with his war wound, lives in New Harmony in Washington County.

After his military discharge, Gardner returned to Salt Lake City, where he and his wife raised five children.

He says he always wondered why he never got his medal, but the prevalence of anti-war sentiment upon his return to Utah discouraged him from pursuing it.

He spoke last year to Hatch, who set the process in motion.

Gardner was injured by shrapnel from a rocket explosion.

— Associated Press