Green Country Veteran Gets War Medals Replaced After Losing Originals To House Fire


Tuesday, January 25th 2022, 11:01 pm


WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A Marine Corps veteran who lost his home to a fire recently got back an important part of his past.

The medals and decorations he earned in the Vietnam War have been replaced, after the originals were lost in the fire.

Jerry and Connie Owens are living on their son's property in a trailer while they work on building a new home.

While there isn't much inside, Jerry does have his new war medals, replacing the original ones he earned during the Vietnam War.

"It was sure a pleasant surprise to receive this,” Jerry said.

Among the replaced medals and ribbons is Jerry's new Purple Heart, awarded to him after he was wounded in Vietnam in 1967.

He still carries two pieces of shrapnel after he was hit in both legs by mortar explosions during an ambush.

Jerry said Lieutenant General Victor Krulak gave him his original Purple Heart days after the ambush.

"He just happened to be making rounds in the Tripler Army hospital in Honolulu where I ended up recovering from wounds,” Jerry said. “I have a picture of him pinning it on me and that was pretty neat."

Jerry and Connie lost everything when their home burned down in November.

Their daughter asked Senator James Lankford's office for help in getting Jerry's medals replaced.

“Probably nothing gets people’s attention [more] than something from a senator. So there are times when they seem they can get something done and I appreciate his efforts on it,” Jerry said.

The couple is looking ahead to when they'll be back on their land near Keystone Lake, in a new home.

"We hope that'll be soon but we're prepared for the long haul and whatever it takes cause we wanna do it right and do it good,” Jerry said.

Jerry also plans to replace two other war medals that are not from the Marine Corps.

“There’s a couple medals that they don’t issue, that Vietnam issued them, so I can get those through a medal company,” he said.

He also plans to get his uniform replaced, so he can proudly wear it again.