Granite man gets Silver Star

Saturday, August 30th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A Granite man has received the Silver Star medal, 53 years after carrying five men to safety on a Korean hillside.

The Silver Star is one of the highest awards the United States bestows for bravery in combat.

Franklin Eugene Walton, just 17 years old, was watching Oct. 16, 1951, as five fellow soldiers made their way to a creek to fill their canteens. He saw a mortar shell explode among them and took off running to help.

Walton, now 69, carried each of his Army comrades to safety. Three of them were dead.

Walton's daughter Rhonda Spencer began researching five years ago when she found out her father had not received the Silver Star or a Purple Heart.

Spencer said the award was more important to her father than he let on.

``He said he didn't care, but you could see he did today,'' she said. ``We care about it because he's our hero.''