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Better Late Than Never for Soldiers’ Medals

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Kevin Randles uniform, and the ribbons on it, tell a story. Before it wasnt quite finished. Today, the final chapter, in the form of three new medals, was completed five years after his retirement.

"It took time to just wind its way through the Army bureaucracy, said Randle.

It's not uncommon for veterans to not get their medals right away.

"A lot of veterans, they got out of the military, they came home, they got married, they went to school, got back to farming, whatever, said Senator Tom Harkin. They just took up their lives again."

Thanks to some work from Senator Harkins office, colonel Randle got the medals he deserved. Randle is credited with saving other soldiers while risking his own life during missions in Vietnam.

"Warrant Officer Randle distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as the pilot of a Huey Smoke Ship, says the accommodation awarding him the Air Medal for Heroism.

For his service in Iraq in the mid 2000s, he received a Bronze Star.

"You didn't earn those sitting back in the safe zone, said Brigadier General Randy Warm from the Iowa National Guard.

"To have them say those things was quite pleasing but I just thought of it as doing my job at the time, said Randle, who retired in 2009 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.

Soldiers say this is progress, but there are plenty of other tales just like Colonel Randles.

"They're not going to come out and say, "Hey, I flew helicopters in Vietnam." But if you do get to meet them, they have great stories, said Brigadier General Warm.

And those stories are just waiting to be told.
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