Erwin man receives Purple Heart from 1969

From Staff Reports

   An Erwin man has received his Purple Heart more than 34 years after being wounded in Vietnam.
   Private First Class Thomas D. "Doug" Shook received his decoration at a special presentation ceremony held in Erwin on Wednesday.
   Several Northeast Tennessee legislators including Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) have worked diligently for more than four months to see a Vietnam War-era oversight corrected in the Army's official military records of Shook.
   It was the morning of Jan. 11, 1969, when then Private First Class Shook was with his unit in the Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam. Shook prepared to take up his defensive position when shrapnel pierced his left shoulder as a land mine exploded. The 24-year-old infantryman with Sharpshooter Badges on the M-14 and the M-16 and a Marksman Badge on the M-60 is the latest casualty in the Vietnam War.
   Nine days after he was wounded, the Army later promoted Shook to Specialist 4. Official military records are clear about the incident and about the time Shook spent recovering overseas in hospitals from his injury before returning to duty, this time in Korea. Yet, for whatever reason, no one ever filed the proper paperwork to award Shook his Purple Heart Medal.
   On Wednesday, Shook received his Purple Heart Medal in a special Presentation of the Purple Heart ceremony at City Hall in Erwin. The medal was presented by Army Lt. Col. Bradley Moffitt.
   Senator Crowe stated, "Veterans like Mr. Shook cared more about the purpose of liberty and freedom than they did even their own lives. I was extremely proud to work with my fellow legislators in obtaining Mr. Shook's long overdue Purple Heart."