Vietnam veteran Dockie Brendle received his third Purple Heart Friday afternoon in a ceremony at Asheville’s Charles George Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Brendle, a retired Army specialist fourth class, served during the war’s brutal 1968 Tet offensive.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Brendle, “but better late than never.”
Among other officials presenting the award was North Carolina’s US Senator Kay Hagan, whose office reported in a press release that Brendle had contacted her for help in receiving the award so many years after his service. Hagan took part in the ceremony after touring the medical center.
The following is taken from a press release from Hagan’s office:
Hagan Presents Purple Heart to Vietnam Veteran After Touring Charles George VA Medical Center
Hagan’s office worked to secure the medal for Army Specialist Dockie Brendle
Asheville, NC – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, visited the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville today to tour the facility and take part in the presentation of a Purple Heart to Army Specialist Dockie Brendle, a veteran of the Vietnam War. After being contacted by Brendle, Senator Hagan’s office worked quickly to secure the medal and make sure Brendle’s contributions to our country were properly honored. Joining Senator Hagan to present the medal was Medical Center Director Cynthia Breyfogle, Brigadier General James Ernst and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Baird of the North Carolina Army National Guard.
“It was my honor to secure this medal for Specialist Dockie Brendle, a true American hero,” said Hagan. “As a Mortar Man, and later a Track Commander with the 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam, he faced dangers most of us could never imagine. It is a great honor to present this medal, a token of our appreciation for Mr. Brendle’s service and sacrifice, on behalf of a grateful state and nation.”
Brendle served during the 1968 Tet Offensive and was wounded three times during his service. This is the third Purple Heart he has received for his service during the Vietnam War.
During Hagan’s tour she visited with veterans throughout the hospital, toured the women’s health clinic and met with the Medical Center leadership.