Blount County Vietnam veteran awarded Purple Heart Medal in surprise ceremony

Charles Jones (Right) stands next to Blount County Veterans Services Officer Nathan Weinbaum (Left)

MARYVILLE (WATE) – A veteran in Blount County received a Purple Heart Medal 47 years after he was injured.

Charles Jones served with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. On July 2, 1970, he was wounded in action when his company was attacked.

Nathan Weinbaum, Veterans Service Officer for Blount County, said eight members of Jones’ company were killed in action, including his best friend Robert Zoller. Weinbaum said Charles received wounds to his face and right shoulder.

(Courtesy Charles Jones)

Charles did have a Purple Heart Medal pinned to his chest on a hospital ship while recovering, according to Weinbaum, but he said it was never documented in his records. In 2005, Charles submitted an application for the Purple Heart which was denied by the Department of the Army.

In 2015, after spending weeks gathering information and evidence, Weinbaum submitted another application for the Purple Heart Medal for Jones. Weinbaum said the request was approved by the Department of the Army and his office organized a surprise ceremony Friday afternoon to prevent Jones with the medal.

This is the fifth Purple Heart Medal Weinbaum has helped Blount County veterans obtain.

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