A Cedar Rapids veteran has been waiting a long time to receive this prestigious award.

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An independent journalist came across a frustrating oversight that stopped me in my tracks. Cindy Hadish, an Iowa native and freelance journalist discovered the story of World War 2 veteran Michael Bisek of Cedar Rapids.

On her site, Hadish shared Bisek's journey to hopefully one day attain one of the greatest awards that any member of the U.S. Armed Forces can receive...

The Purple Heart...

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According to the 460bg website, Bisek served with 460th Bombardment Group in 1944.

In August of that year, the member of the U.S. Army Air Corps ended up being shot in the leg by friendly fire in Europe. Nearly 80 years later, and multiple forces are working to help him get a Purple Heart for his service.

Over the past few years, Bisek and others have started to reconsider his discharge record.  An official from a veterans organization said due to some inconsistencies in his record that he could qualify for several awards, according to Hadish's reporting.

Military medical records from his stay in a hospital in Italy in 1944 include the injury he sustained. However, his discharge papers omit his injury.

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When he reached out to Senator Chuck Grassley for help, the politician's communications director shot back a vague answer that included "ambiguous and confusing” criteria for receiving the award.

According to the United States Army Human Resources Command website, Purple Hearts are awarded to any members of the United States Armed Forces who served after April 5th, 1917 that were wounded, killed, or died under the following circumstances:

  1. In any action against an enemy of the United States.
  2.  In any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged. 
  3. While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
  4.  As the result of an act of any such enemy of opposing Armed Forces.
  5.  As the result of an act of any hostile foreign force.
  6.  After 28 March 1973, as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of Army, or jointly by the Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.
  7.  After 28 March 1973, as the result of military operations while serving outside the territory of the United States as part of a peacekeeping force. 
  8. Servicemembers who are killed or wounded in action by friendly fire.

Bisek and his family are working hard to get him the recognition he deserves. We'll keep you updated as this story progresses.

You can read more about Bisek's story here.

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