The Missing Purple Heart

In October, 1965, Hal Moore stepped on a booby trap. While not seriously injured by it, the Army process followed through with the award of a Purple Heart.

Moore objected to being given the medal, and tried to return it. In a letter home in 1966, he asked Julie to send the medal and certificate to him in Vietnam so he could return it while in country. The letter said:

I cannot keep it as I feel that a minor punji stake wound in the foot is no reason. Many get it for that when so hurt, but I have my own self respect to live with. Although it was properly earned, I cannot wear it or keep it in conscience.”

Hal Moore never wore the medal, and tried to give it back again upon his return from Vietnam.

You can see his rationale in the letter below as well as the official Army response.

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